Who Worked 21F in 4 Breezes over Just 15 Days?


Some claimer down at Calder? A millionaire miler in Dubai?  A few dozen random trainees in Europe or Australia? Well, probably – but let’s stick to the US.





















Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014 Santa Anita Handicap winner, Game on Dude! (not pictured above in silhouette)

Small wonder this training feat was undertaken by Bob Baffert, as he continues to do more with less than any east coast based supertrainer. Did you know that we have had but 3 horses repeat as 3yo Horse of the Year (male or female) in the past 22 years – and 2 of them were trained by Baffert?

Everyone had written off Game on Dude after his last performance, a poor effort in the G2 San Antonio over his home strip at Santa Anita just 28 days ago. And perhaps rightfully so, given his previous Santa Anita effort in the Breeder’s Cup Classic last November, an uncharacteristically dull 9th place effort.

I used to peruse the workout data prior to these big races, but gave up after several months of seeing the same patterns. Only minutes before the Big Cap last night, did jockey Mike Smith mention that Baffert had ‘cranked up the training’ on Dude in preparation for his title defense. After the race I hit Equibase to see if that would be reflected in the worktab, and lo and behold it was.

Hmm, where have I read about the importance of frequency as it relates to speedwork? Namely the reasoning behind the 5 days or less intervals between fast furlongs? Oh yeah, here:


A few cite the 41 longer feet traveled by Will Take Charge on his way to finishing second by 1+ lengths as evidence of a superior effort, but the Lukas trainee was a full second behind the front-running Game on Dude through a half mile and also benefitted from some drafting.

Game on Dude has excelled in the early spring racing in southern California the past 2 seasons, only to come up woefully short in the late fall Breeders Cup races.  He’s getting nothing but older (7) by the calendar – will Baffert continue this work schedule in an effort to resurrect the Dude’s last season chances in 2014?


About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on March 10, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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