Runnymede-bred, -raised and -sold star Awesome Gem, who is one of the farm’s all-time earnings leaders with nearly $2 million to date, is the featured attraction in an ongoing contest to encourage Thoroughbred ownership.
Working with ESPN.com, West Point Thoroughbreds is offering the lucky contest winner, who will be chosen at random after online entries close on May 16, a 2.5% ownership stake in Awesome Gem from June until the end of the year. Now seven, Awesome Gem’s major target for 2010 is the Breeders’ Cup this fall, which would mark the fourth consecutive year he has competed in America’s championship event.
West Point President Terry Finley says in a video about the contest that Awesome Gem has been a remarkable horse for his group, which is one of the most successful racing partnership ventures in North America.
“You know every time you go to the racetrack to see Awesome Gem run you’re going to have a thrill. … He shows up all the time—he’s very honest, he’s very sound,” Finley said of the gelding by Awesome Again out of the Pentelicus mare Piano, noting that Awesome Gem has won on turf, dirt and synthetic tracks.
“Versatility—if you were to open up the dictionary, there’s a good chance you would see a picture of Awesome Gem in there,” he said.
ESPN.com users can submit one entry per day to the contest. Entries can be made at: http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contest/index?code=WPT_Promo_ESPNHorse_041610
Not only has Finley promised the contest winner a share of Awesome Gem’s earnings, he also will include the person in partnership reports about how the gelding is training and, hopefully, the chance to be part of a winner’s circle photograph. No training or other expenses will be billed to the contest winner.
Awesome Gem has won six races and has placed another 16 times in his 34-race career, earning $1,925,682. In his most recent start, he earned $200,000 by finishing a strong second in the $1-million Charles Town Classic Stakes, which would have yielded $4,000 to an owner with a 2.5% share after trainer Craig Dollase and jockey David Flores were paid from the purse proceeds.
Runnymede Farm bred Awesome Gem in partnership with Peter Callahan and Catesby Clay and sold the chestnut for $150,000 at the 2004 Saratoga select yearling sale.