Inglewood, CA (Sports Network) - Former stablemates Game On Dude and Richard's Kid will face each other for a fifth time this year in Saturday's $250,000 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes has attracted a solid field of five.
Game On Dude and Richard's Kid previously met this year in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, Awesome Again and Breeders' Cup Classic. The 'Dude' won the Gold Cup and Awesome Again Stakes, and was second in the Pacific Classic, while Richard's Kid was second in the Gold Cup and third in both the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. Game On Dude was seventh and Richard's Kid was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert who previously conditioned Richard's Kid, will start from the inside post in the Native Diver with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith getting the mount. Smith is seeking his first Native Diver victory.
Co-owned by Joe Torre's Diamond Pride Stable, the 5-year-old gelding also won the Californian this year at Hollywood Park. In seven starts this year, Game On Dude has won four for $860,000 and in 21 career starts he's earned $2,994,658 with nine wins.
Richard's Kid, a two-time Pacific Classic winner, is trained by Doug O'Neill and will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano from post two. Bejarano won the Native Diver in 2009 with Mast Track.
Richard's Kid, co-owned by Triple B Stable, has earned more than $2.2 million with 11 wins in 38 lifetime starts.
"He's definitely running," said O'Neill. "He's doing super. I can't wait for Saturday."
Kettle Corn is back to defend is 2011 Native Diver crown. Trained by John Sadler, the 5-year-old will start from the outside post in the five-horse field with Garrett Gomez again riding. Gomez was aboard for last year's win and has two other victories in the stakes.
Owned by C R K Stable, Kettle Corn notched his first win of the year with an allowance victory at Hollywood Park on Nov. 8. He won last year's Native Diver at better than 8-1 odds with a half-length victory over 17-10 favorite Tres Borrachos. In 19 career starts he has seven wins for $364,111.
Make Music for Me and Nonios will break from posts three and four, respectively. Nonios, who will be ridden by Martin Pedroza, earlier this year won the Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park and was runner-up in both the Swaps Stakes and Haskell Invitational. Make Music for Me will be guided by Tyler Baze.
Post-time for the 35th Native Diver will be 5:01 p.m. (ET).
11/28 16:44:15 ET