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Rosario To Ride Game On Dude In TVG Pacific Classic

Joel Rosario, who guided Dullahan to victory in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic in 2012, will ride Game On Dude in the 23rd edition of Del Mars signature event on Sunday, August 25.

Trainer Bob Baffert broke the news late Sunday morning via Twitter and Ron Anderson, agent for Rosario, provided confirmation Sunday afternoon. The opening aboard Game On Dude, the No. 1 handicap horse in the country, was created when Mike Smith committed to ride Royal Delta in the Grade I $600,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga on the same day as the Pacific Classic.

I had an opportunity to ride Dullahan or a real good Mark Casse horse (Delegation) coming in from Canada, Anderson said. But Game On Dude may be the best horse in the country and I would think hed be a huge favorite (for the Classic).

The departure of Rosario creates an opening for Dullahan but, trainer Dale Romans said, will not affect previously announced plans for a title defense.

No one monkey stops my show, Romans said. He indicated a new rider for Dullahan will be named soon.

 Game On Dude, who is the early favorite for this year's TVG Pacific Classic, has run in the last two editions of the race. He was fourth in the 2011 running to Acclamation and second to Dullahan in last year's race.