Horse racing notebook: Pletcher still has confidence in Dreaming of Julia
The connections for Dreaming of Julia will be looking to wake up from a nightmare in the Grade I Mother Goose at Belmont Park today.
The sleep-disturbing event occurred in the Kentucky Oaks, when Dreaming of Julia got a significant bump from Rose to Gold out of the gate, then was checked heading into the second turn.
She ended up six-wide into the stretch and had no chance to catch the big upset winner, stablemate Princess of Sylmar.
The fourth-place finish did nothing to dissuade New York Racing Association oddsmaker Eric Donovan from making Dreaming of Julia 1-2 on the morning line.
The bay filly by A.P. Indy out of Dream Rush will break from post No. 2 in the field of five 3-year-old fillies.
“I don’t really think she lost any credibility in the Oaks because she was annihilated at the start, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she got stopped later in the race,” trainer Todd Pletcher told NYRA.
“I thought she ran very well in the race, considering everything she tried to overcome, and we’re hoping to get her back on course.”
Dreaming of Julia, carrying the familiar gold-and-burgundy silks of Stonestreet Stables, stamped herself as one of the best in her class at Saratoga Race Course last summer, when she broke her maiden by 10 1⁄2 lengths.
She followed that up with wins in the Meadow Star and Grade I Frizette at Belmont Park before finishing third to Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Dreaming of Julia lost her 3-year-old debut in the Davona Dale to Live Lively before coming back to demolish the field in the Grade II Gulfstream Oaks by a whopping 213⁄4 lengths over Live Lively.
The 7-2 second choice in the Mother Goose is Gazelle winner Close Hatches.
Also in the field are Marathon Lady, Toasting, third in the Black-Eyed Susan, and Sister State.
The 3-year-old fillies take the spotlight at Hollywood Park, also, in the Hollywood Oaks, which, like the Mother Goose, has drawn just five.
Iotapa, trained by John Sadler, is the 8-5 favorite with just one defeat, a second to Beholder in the Santa Anita Oaks, in four starts.
Among two trained by Jerry Hollendorfer is 9-5 Doinghardtimeagain, a three-time stakes winner making her graded-stakes debut.
Teardrop is the 2-1 favorite in a field of 11 in the $100,000 Debutante for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs at Churchill Downs.
She broke her maiden first time out by 3 3⁄4 lengths in May.
Colonial Downs has three turf stakes on its card, including the Grade II Colonial Turf Cup for horses 3 and up going a mile and three-sixteenths and the Edward P. Evans All Along for fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth.
Four-time graded-stakes winner Air Support is the 5-2 favorite in the Turf Cup as he gets back to stakes company for the first time since finishing fifth in the Canadian International in October for trainer Shug McGaughey.
Among his rivals will be Atigun, who was third in the Belmont and fourth in the Travers last year.
Channel Lady, winner of the Grade III Suwannee River in February, is the 7-5 favorite in the All Along.
Also on the Colonial card, the Pletcher-trained Hudson Steele will get a class break in the $50,000 Da Hoss.
The Grade II Dixie winner is coming off a fourth in the Grade I Manhattan and a sixth in the Grade I Man o’ War. He’s 4-5 in the Da Hoss.
On Sunday, Mechanicville native Chad Brown will saddle the 2-1 favorite in the $90,000 Open Mind at Belmont.
After making 12 starts in Europe, the 5-year-old mare will make her third start in the U.S., having won an allowance at Gulfstream Park before finishing third in the Miss Liberty.
Riding the River is 2-1 in the Grade II King Edward at Woodbine after winning the race last year.
Pender Harbour, winner of the Prince of Wales in 2011, the second leg of Canada’s Triple Crown, is 5-2, and the field also includes Prospective, who won the Tampa Bay Derby last year before bombing in the Kentucky Derby.
PILLARS OF THE TURF
August Belmont II and Paul Mellon have been selected as the inaugural Pillars of the Turf inductees into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Belmont and Mellon will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with jockey Calvin Borel and the horses Housebuster, Invasor, Lure, McDynamo and Tuscalee on Friday, Aug. 9. The ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion at 10:30 a.m. It is open to the public and free of charge.
Belmont was born in 1853 and spent the first four years of his life at The Hague, where his father was serving as U.S. Minister to the Netherlands. He later graduated from Harvard and went into the family banking business before having a profound influence on racing.
Upon his father’s death in 1890, Belmont became heavily involved with racing and took over August Belmont & Co., a New York City bank.
He bought seven of his father’s mares at a dispersal auction and continued his father’s practice of raising horses at Nursery Stud in Kentucky. Belmont II bred more than 100 stakes winners, including seven champions: Man o’ War, Beldame, Rock View, Friar Rock, Hourless, Mad Hatter, and Chance Play. Belmont sold his entire 1917 yearling crop, including Man o’ War, because of his involvement in World War I.
Before and after his military service, Belmont was deeply entwined in the workings of American racing. He was associated with William Collins Whitney in the revitalization of Saratoga in the early 1900s, and also served as chairman of both The Jockey Club and the New York Racing Commission. Belmont was among the founding members of The Jockey Club, in 1894, and served as chairman from 1895 until his death in 1924. He was also a founding member of the National Steeplechase Association in 1895 and organized the Westchester Racing Association that same year.
In 1905, Belmont opened Belmont Park. That year, the Belmont Stakes, inaugurated in 1867, and named in his father’s honor, was transferred from Morris Park to Belmont Park. Belmont won the race in 1902 with Masterman, and in 1916 and 1917 with Friar Rock and Hourless, respectively.
Mellon was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1907. After graduating from Yale in 1929, he went to work for Mellon Bank, which was founded by his grandfather, Thomas, and later passed to his father,
Andrew, who served more than a decade as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
Mellon began racing under the banner of Rokeby Stables in 1948. His horses won more than 1,000 stakes races and had total earnings in excess of $30 million. Mellon won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 1971 and 1986. Among his many exceptional runners, Mellon campaigned Hall of Fame members Arts and Letters and Fort Marcy. Other standouts included Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero, Belmont winner Quadrangle, and champions Key to the Mint and Run the Gantlet.
Mellon was a trustee of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and one of only six individuals to be named an Exemplar of Racing by the Museum. Mellon also served as vice chairman of The Jockey Club, director of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, and maintained key leadership and support roles with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the National Steeplechase Association.
In an effort to tell a more comprehensive history of racing in America, the National Museum of Racing’s Executive Committee approved a motion to expand its Hall of Fame with a new category, Pillars of the Turf, beginning this year.
AROUND THE TRACKS
Trainer Bill Mott said that Royal Delta “seemed a little bit more pensive in the paddock than normal” before she lost the Fleur de Lis as the 1-5 betting favorite at Churchill Downs last Saturday, won by Funny Proposition.
“Maybe it’s just a matter of getting back into action. We’ll see,” Mott said.
The Fleur de Lis was Royal Delta’s first start since finishing 10th in the Dubai World Cup in March. . . .
Trainer Ian Wilkes said that Fort Larned will be back at Saratoga to try to win the Whitney again, after he won the Grade I Stephen Foster at Churchill last Saturday.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic winner led the Stephen Foster gate to wire and finished 61⁄4 lengths ahead of Travers dead-heat winner Golden Ticket. . . .
Code West stamped himself as a potential Travers horse when he won the Matt Winn by a head over Uncaptured at Churchill Downs last weekend.
“This was a little short for him; I think he wants further,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He’ll be on the summer Derby trail.” . . .
HERE AND THERE
Preakness runner-up Itsmyluckyday is on the shelf for four months after being pulled up in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park last Saturday.
He suffered a slight pelvic fracture in the race, easily won by Verrazano. . . .
Saratoga Springs native Ed Hotaling, a network news journalist and author of “The Great Black Jockeys” and “They’re Off! Horse Racing at Saratoga,” has died at age 75, according to his son.
Greg Hotaling said his father died June 3 of heart failure. He had been in a Staten Island nursing home since a serious car accident in 2007. . . .
The British trainer Ian McInnes has been banned from racing for three years for running a horse nine times after it had undergone a procedure that is banned.
A British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel disqualified McInnes until June 21, 2016, after ruling that he “disregarded the welfare” of Commando Scott by running the horse after a leg operation.
The BHA said Friday in a statement that McInnes “seriously undermined the trust placed in trainers to look after horses in their care and to abide by the rules of racing.”
McInnes was also found guilty of misleading officials during the investigation and was given a second penalty of six months. The suspensions will run concurrently.