Ten Things You Should Know: Awesome Again StakesFormerly known as the Goodwood Stakes
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
1) The Awesome Again Stakes is a race open to horses 3-years-old and up, run over a distance of 1 â…› miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. This year’s edition is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, the winner will qualify for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.
2) The race was run as the Goodwood Stakes from its first running in 1982 until 2011. It was run as the Awesome Again Stakes for the first time in 2012.
3) The name change was part of a mass renaming of 14 stakes races on the Santa Anita fall stakes calendar. The names changes came about with the end of a longtime partnership between Santa Anita and the Oak Tree Racing Association. Awesome Again won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1998 and was owned by Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs. Stronach’s company owns Santa Anita.
4) In 1987, Ferdinand, the previous year’s Kentucky Derby winner, took the Goodwood en route to a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was the first horse to sweep that double and the first Goodwood winner to be voted Horse of the Year.
5) In 1996, Bertrando won a dramatic edition of the Goodwood when he was passed in the stretch but re-rallied cross the wire first in stakes record time.
6) In 2000, a promising 3-year-old named Tiznow won his first stakes race against older horses in the Goodwood. He went on to win that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classsic at 9-1. The following year, he finished third in the Goodwood but repeated in the BC Classic.
7) In 1998, the 1997 Kentucky Derby winner and future Hall of Famer Silver Charm beat his rival Free House in the Goodwood. Along with Ferdinand, he is the only other Goodwood winner who also won the Kentucky Derby.
8) Pleasantly Perfect, one of the race’s three dual winners along with Lord At War (1984-85) and Game on Dude (2011-2012), won the 2002 and 2003 Goodwood. He followed up the 2003 win with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
9) Two jockeys have won the race four times. Kent Desormeaux and Gary Stevens share the stakes record with four wins apiece from 1998 to 2005. Gary Stevens’ win on Rock Hard Ten in 2005 was one of the last major stakes wins of the great jockey’s legendary career.
10) The 2011 and 2012 Goodwood winner Game on Dude finished a close second in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic in his next start. He held the lead in deep stretch but was caught by the fast closing Drosselmeyer. In 2012 he finished seventh as the favorite.