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Game On Dude Highlights a Drama-Filled Breeders Cup

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Game On Dude racing the final stretch en route to a win in the 2011 Grade I Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Benoit Photography/used with permission)
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The Breeders' Cup Championship returns to Santa Anita Park after two years at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Although there is no Zenyatta like the last time the Championship was here, there is no lack of excitement for the two days of races.

The big name of the weekend is Game On Dude, co-owned by former Dodger manager Joe Torre, who will be running in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday for the second year in a row. In last year's running Game On Dude battled with Uncle Mo throughout most of the race for the lead until the final stretch when from the back of the pack came Drosselmeyer.

Since then trainer Bob Baffert replaced jockey Chantal Sutherland with Rafael Bejarano in time for Santa Anita's Autumn Meet which paid off. There was no drama in Game On Dude's win in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes in the opening weekend of the meet.

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The line on the favorite Game On Dude, racing in the fifth gate, opened at 9-5 with the two-horse Flat Out and four-horse Fort Larned both at 5-1. Of course the lines will move by the time the race posts at around 5:35 p.m. on Saturday. But one thing is almost certain: a win in the Classic will most likely nab Game On Dude with the Horse of the Year honors.

All of the drama isn't confined to the Saturday racing. The final race on Friday, the $2 million Ladies' Classic, features two horses that are undefeated: My Miss Aurelia in six races and Awesome Feather in 10 races. At 4-1 and 3-1 respectively, injuries this year limited them to only two races each.

The current favorite is the 9-5 Royal Delta who won the $400,000 Grade I Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park by an easy 9 1/2 lengths.

Tickets are still available with general admission tickets as low as $10 for Friday's races and $15 for Saturday's races.

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The schedule of Breeders' Cup races are:

Friday
4. $500,000 Juvenile Sprint (ungraded) 1:06 p.m.
5. $500,000 Marathon (Grade II) 1:46 p.m.
6. $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade I) 2:28 p.m.
7. $2 million Juvenile Fillies (Grade I) 3:08 p.m.
8. $2 million Filly & Mare Turf (Grade I) 3:48 p.m.
9. $2 million Ladies' Classic (Grade I) 4:30 p.m.

Saturday
4. $1 million Juvenile Turf (Grade I) 11:50 a.m.
5. $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade I) 12:35 p.m.
6. $1 million Dirt Mile (Grade I) 1:14 p.m.
7. $1 million Turf Sprint (Grade I) 1:57 p.m.
8. $2 million Juvenile (Grade I) 2:36 p.m.
9. $3 million Turf (Grade I) 3:18 p.m.
10. $1.5 million Sprint (Grade I) 3:58 p.m.
11. $2 million Mile (Grade I) 4:40 p.m.
12. $5 million Classic (Grade I) 5:35 p.m.

All of the races on Friday and Saturday can be seen on NBC Sports Net, with the network coverage of the $5 million Classic to be aired on NBC.