ARCADIA, Calif. -- Game On Dude, the upset winner of the controversial Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, will miss a scheduled start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26 because of a foot abcess, his trainer, Bob Baffert, said Tuesday morning.
Game On Dude was scheduled to depart for Dubai on Tuesday with the rest of the American-based contingent for the World Cup card.
"He's starting to pop a quarter," Baffert said. "Something's brewing there. If I had a few more days, he might be okay, but I'd hate to send him over there like that. You've got to go over there 100 percent."
Baffert has won the World Cup twice before, with Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve in 2001.
Baffert said Game On Dude had a similar problem arise after an allowance victory on Jan. 27 in his first start in seven months, but the issue was resolved in time for him to race in, and win, the roughly run Big Cap.
"He had one after his allowance win, in the same foot," Baffert said. "It's not really a quarter crack, but it will crack if we don't watch it. Something blew out his coronet band. He's not sore on it. But something's there. We're still taking him to the track and jogging him, but we're not going to gallop him."
Game On Dude, 4, a gelding, has won four times in eight starts. Had he run in Dubai, it would have been his first start on a synthetic surface. Last year, Game On Dude won the Lone Star Derby and was fourth in the Belmont Stakes. He is owned by Terry Lanni, Ernie Moody, and Bernie Schiappa.
Baffert will have one entrant on the World Cup card, the fleet sprinter Euroears, who runs in the six-furlong Golden Shaheen. Euroears worked six furlongs in a blazing 1:09.80 on Monday morning at Santa Anita. He won the six-furlong Palos Verdes Stakes earlier this meet in his first start for Baffert.
The Golden Shaheen's defending champion is Kinsale King, who was part of the California-based contingent that left for Dubai on Tuesday.