The Dude Abides

The Dude, on the left, with Whoonu.

The Dude Abides
California-bred gelding (b. 2007)
by Atticus-Ash Panache
Career (2009): 3-0-0-0, $664

His name doesn’t bring back memories of big wins at Emerald Downs but it does have a place in the hearts of many movie lovers.

The Dude Abides received his moniker from local breeder-owner-handicapper John Lindley.  Lindley raced the dam, Ash Panache and many of her foals and he’s also a dedicated fan of 1998 cult movie favorite “The Big Lebowsky.”

“The Dude Abides was the last line spoken by Jeff Lebowsky (Jeff Bridges) in the movie, so that’s where I got the name,” said Lindley.

Bred in California, Lindley recalls the first meeting of his charge at the Tim McCanna barn. 

“He just arrived at Emerald during his two-year-old season and he was laying down, sound asleep in his stall,” said Lindley.  “How many two-year-olds are sleeping in the morning?’

Lindley said The Dude Abides personality was right in sync with the movie character.

“The Dude Abides might be the laziest horse I’ve ever heard of,” said Lindley.  “Bridges character in the movie was referred to as the laziest person in L.A. County, thus maybe the laziest person in the world.”

Racing on the track wasn’t The Dude Abides’ strong point.  He ran three times in 2009, out-finishing only two horses.  Lindley is always concerned about life after racing and had a contact in Escalon, California, horse rescuer Mary Perry, who always places horse well-being first.

“Yes, he’s very laid back, but everybody loves him,” said Perry.  “We want them to do what they’re good at, to enjoy their tasks.  

“Yes, laid back but also very inquisitive and happy,” said Perry.  “He loves attention, loves people.  We got him into jumping after seeing him jump a fence from just a standing position.  We’ve introduced him into the jumper world and he really enjoys it.  We’ve been slowly increasing the heights.”

His competing name is “Wingman” and Perry’s granddaughter Joelle Hylton is learning the jumping world with him.

Perry always looks forward to working with Lindley with off-the-track Thoroughbreds.  Lindley is happy too, just hopes the next one he sends south has more wins on the resume before a second career begins!

The Dude with Joelle Hylton.

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