Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Misremembered Dude

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 9, 2011

Chantal Sutherland had to wait 12 of the longest minutes of her riding career to officially make history on Saturday at Santa Anita Park as the first female jockey to win the Santa Anita Handicap (gr.1). In one of the most controversial and event-filled Big Caps ever run, Game On Dude survived a lengthy inquiry to register an extremely game win over Setsuko.

Heavy race favorite Twirling Candy rated off the pace set by First Dude and Aggie Engineer in the Big Cap as Game On Dude sat just behind the two frontrunners. Coming off the turn Game On Dude took the lead on the inside as Twirling Candy raced a half length behind with Setsuko to his outside. Into the stretch those three raced in tandem with Game On Dude holding a slight edge over Setsuko and Twirling Candy. Within moments the scene changed dramatically as Twirling Candy appeared to drift in slightly, making contact with Game On Dude. The sudden brush threw Game On Dude completely off balance and his hind end swerved sharply into Twirling Candy, pushing that one hard into Setsuko who swerved out and back in again causing yet more contact. Continuing steadfastly down the stretch Game On Dude held a narrow lead over Setsuko who moved over to race directly beside his opponent as Twirling Candy faded, eventually finishing 4th. Approaching the wire Setsuko resolutely fought to gain control of the lead, finally managing to thrust his neck in front but incredibly Game On Dude came right back with just a few strides remaining to win by a nose.

That concluded one of the most controversial Santa Anita Handicap running’s in 74 renewals of the race. The euphoria of Chantal Sutherland’s historic win was sadly dampened somewhat when Game On Dude was met with a chorus of boos from dissatisfied fans around the winner’s circle.

Twirling Candy looked nothing like his old self in the Santa Anita Handicap. He was mounting a serious rally before the series of bumping and brushing incidents took him out of contention. Undoubtedly Twirling Candy received the worst of the homestretch incident as he got bounced around between Game On Dude and Setsuko. He will be back to fight another day and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to his dominant winning ways.

Misremembered - Benoit Photo

Just one day after the Santa Anita Handicap’s action-packed running, the 2010 winner of the Santa Anita Handicap made a successful return to the races for trainer Bob Baffert when Misremembered won the Santana Mile Stakes by three lengths.

Making his first start since winning last years running of the Big Cap, Misremembered showed he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s older horse ranks.

Breaking quickly from the gate Misremembered dropped back to race in 4th as Matto Mondo set the pace up front with Indian Firewater immediately behind and Kensei in third. The first quarter went in a swift :22.25 and the half in :45.11. Racing about six lengths off the rapid pace, Misremembered looked very comfortable under jockey Martin Garcia as the field flew down the backstretch. Around the far turn Misremembered began to gradually move up without any urging from Garcia. Coming four wide into the stretch the 5-year-old Candy Ride colt absolutely flew to the lead with effortless authority. With a shake of the reins he exploded to a three length lead and maintained that advantage down to the wire, ears pricked all the way home.

This was for me the easiest win I have seen by any runner this year since Twirling Candy took the Strub Stakes. If Misremembered was this sharp of a layoff of more than 11 months imagine what he’ll be able to do in his next start with a race under his belt.

Needless to say Bob Baffert had a huge weekend with the wins by Game On Dude and Misremembered.

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