Horse Racing: 2012 Native Diver Handicap Preview

This weekend’s Horse Racing Race of the Week takes us out to California for the 2012 Native Diver Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, where top 2012 older horse Game On Dude has been installed as the morning line favorite. (Even though the odds were unavailable at this writing).

The race, which will go off as the fourth race on Hollywood’s Saturday card with a 5pm EST post, came up light with five horses entered. Game On Dude will take on just four others in the nine furlong event.

Game On Dude, who is coming off a disappointing seventh-place finish as the favorite in last month’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, drew post position one. 

The field also includes grade I winner Richard’s Kid, one of the top three years olds of 2012 Nonios, last year’s Native Diver winner, Kettle Corn, will attempt a repeat, and the multiple graded stakes-placed Make Music for Me.


Betfair Hollywood Park

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Race 4 – 2:01 PM   

Native Diver Handicap

Purse $250,000.

For Three-Year-Olds And Upward.

One And One Eighth Miles. (All Weather Track)









1 Game On Dude 5/G L M E Smith 124 B Baffert
2 Richard’s Kid 7/H L R Bejarano 119 D F O’Neill
3 Make Music for Me 5/H L T Baze 117 A Barba
4 Nonios 3/C L M A Pedroza 119 J Hollendorfer
5 Kettle Corn 5/H L G K Gomez 119 J W Sadler



1) Game On Dude– is the logical pick here being he was the, albeit beaten, 2012 Breeders Cup Classic favorite.

The speedy gelding by the gorgeous Awesome Again is clearly a better horse when he’s either on or very close to the early lead. But in the BCC he had to steady at the start and, although racing third midway thru the race, he never really ran his race and was walloped byFort Larned (seventh, beaten 15 lengths).

Simply put, his effort in the Breeders Cup Classic was too bad to be true. Also he is 2 for 3 over the track and 4 for 6 at this distance… I expect a big bounce back performance on Saturday afternoon.



2) Nonios– is an underrated three year old. I mean looking back over his past performances they are rather impressive. He won the Grade: 3 Affirmed back in June, then ran very respectable seconds to Blueskiesandrianbows (Swaps Stakes) and the ultra talented Paynter (Haskell) in his next two starts.

After a so-so effort in the Travers, he then came second to Game On Dude in the Awesome Again Stakes.

That being, said he too mailed it in in the BCC (sixth, beaten 10 lengths). But like the top choice I expect him to bounce back too.



3) Kettle Corn– this now five year old by Candy Ride is consistent and pulled an upset in this race last year.

14 of 19 career tries on the board and never off the board in six lifetime starts over the Hollywood surface.

Even though the last two times he’s faced Game On Dude he’s been beaten a total of 15 lengths, to me, he still looks the best of the rest.

Record: 23-70= 33% (Incidently, I apolgize for I posting my record incorrectly last week)


Little Bets N Pieces


**** Power Broker, winner of the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes in October and then ran a disappointing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will not again until next year, trainer Bob Baffert said Wednesday.

Evidently, Power Broker needs a little more physical development.

“He needs to fill out,” Baffert said. “He’s a very light horse.”

The decision not to start Power Broker for the rest of the year will keep the colt out of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15.


Power Broker needs time


**** Recently retired superhorse Frankel’s first book of mares for the up coming 2013 breeding season has been released and it is a solid.

Among those on his schedule included champions Middayand Dandream. Along with recent Breeders Cup Filly and Turf winner Zagora, Vodka (champion in Japan) and Oatsee, who is Shackleford’s dam.

The gorgeous son of Galileo has 130 mares booked in all and his stud fee was set at $200,000 (American money)


Champion Midday is one of several quality mares booked to the great Frankel next spring.


**** Ramon Dominguez, who has pretty much locked up his fourth straight riding title on the New York Racing circuit, will miss the next three weeks of racing after recently bruising his left foot at Aqueduct, according to his agent, Steve Rushing.

“It wasn’t getting better, so he saw a specialist who advised him to take some time off,” said Rushing. “Nothing is broken.”

Leading New York rider Ramon Dominguez will be taking a break


**** Solemia, winner of the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been retired from racing after finishing 13th in the Japan Cup last week.

The 4-year-old filly is booked to Dubawi, who stands at Sheikh Mohammed’s Dalham Hall Stud near Newmarket, England

2012 Arc winner Solemia is retired