Kathy Machosky’s Dream of Me made a long-awaited return to the winner’s circle Saturday at Gulfstream Park, posting an 11-1 upset victory in the $ 150,000 Unbridled a year after his most recent victory in the $ 200,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes.
The Anna Varsi-trained colt certainly earned his winner’s circle visit after taking it to Awesome Banner, a multiple graded-stakes winner who favored at 1-20, and drawing off to a 2 ½-length triumph.
“The idea was to put pressure on him and make him fold, and he did,” winning jockey Juan Leyva said. “We had him the whole way.”
The six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds sired by nominated sires standing in Florida was the second of five stakes worth $ 775,000 in purses on Saturday’s 12-race program, highlighted by the $ 200,000 Dr. Fager for 2-year-olds and $ 200,000 Desert Vixen for juvenile fillies.
Dream of Me broke alertly from the starting gate and quickly engaged Awesome Banner for the run down the backstretch, stalked to the outside by Danbury. Leyva kept the heat on the heavy favorite around the turn and into the stretch, where Dream of Me steadily wore down his rival to post a commanding triumph.
Awesome Banner, who had won the Hutcheson (G3) and Swale (G2) during the Championship Meet and finished second in the Carry Back (G3) July 2, held second under Tyler Gaffalione, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Call to Honor.
“He just got pressured the whole way. The other horse never gave us an inch. If I could have given my horse a breather, it might have been different. But that’s just the way things happened today,” Gaffalione said. “(The Pace) was a little quick, but I had the inside so it was either commit or take back, and he’s never been behind horses, so I didn’t want to try that out today. He ran as hard as he could.”
The Unbridled was the third start of the year for Dream of Me, who returned from a 10-month layoff to finish fourth in the Carry Back, more than 13 lengths behind Awesome Banner. Most recently, he finished a troubled third in an optional claiming allowance July 21. The son of High Cotton ran six furlongs in 1:10.30.
“We have been pointing for this race since he came back,” said Varsi’s husband and assistant Enrique Corredor. “We’re very happy with his race.”
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