ARCADIA, Calif. -- Game On Dude will not defend his title in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap and will make his next start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31, trainer Bob Baffert said on Wednesday.
"He's not running," Baffert said. "He's going to Dubai."
Baffert said he may not have a runner in the Big Cap, a race he has won the last two years. Prayer for Relief, a three-time graded stakes winner last year, may also pass the race, he said. Baffert had until later on Wednesday morning to decide whether Prayer for Relief will start.
The post position draw for the Big Cap is being held on Wednesday morning.
Without the Baffert duo, the Big Cap field is expected to include 11 starters. Ultimate Eagle, the winner of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on Feb. 4, inherits the role of favorite from Game On Dude in the race over 1 1/4 miles. He will probably be opposed by Boxeur des Rues, Fiddlers Afleet, Gladding, Holladay Road, Ron the Greek, Setsuko, Thirtyfirststreet, Twice the Appeal, Uh Oh Bango, and Victory Pete.