First Dude is One Away from 1,000

    If Napa Dude can score an upset in the first race at Thistledown today, First Dude will reach an even 1,000 of his progeny  who will have visited the winner’s circle in his years at stud. But Napa Dude is 12-1 in the morning line, so Dude probably will have to wait until later in the week for the historic milestone.

   No. 999 came yesterday in the seventh race at Gulfstream Park, with Grandma’s Pudding going wire-to-wire in a race at a mile and 70 yards over the Tapeta surface. The 5-year-old mare bred by Jacks or Better Farm took an easy lead early, opened a little daylight down the backstretch and into the stretch, then held on gamely to win by three-quarters of a length over two closers, one of them 8/5 favorite Queen Deymar. 

    Grandma’s Pudding paid $6.40 and collected a check for $13,800, lifting her career total to $64,640 on a record of 2-2-3 in 19 starts.