Sunshine Thoroughbred Corp.’s Dream Come True will be making her stakes debut in Saturday’s $65,000 Calder Oaks at Calder Casino & Race Course, but she already has experience at the 1 1/16-mile distance and two turns in general, which will serve to her advantage.
The 3-year-old filly has switched between the turf and the dirt throughout her career and has never run less than one mile after her one 5 ½-furlong race in her career debut. She has two wins from six starts, with one second and one third-place finish. Her first three races were maiden special weights, and the most recent three at the allowance level. The timing was fitting that for her next start she would jump up to the stakes level.
“I think this race will be a little bit of a class check for her,” said trainer Bill White. “Every time a horse breaks their maiden and they run the first time against winners, that tests the horse a little bit, and now that she has won her first allowance condition and she’s stepping up with some stakes horses and multiple winners, it will let us know which direction she’s heading.”
Dream Come True began her career at Calder last September in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on the dirt and ran fifth. When she jumped up to 1 1/16 mile and switched to turf for her next maiden special weight race at Calder last October, she missed the win by just a nose. One race later, she was able to break her maiden, by1 ½ lengths, going 1 1/16 mile on the dirt at Calder last November.
Making the jump up to the allowance level proved a bit tough for Dream Come True, as she finished a career-worst eighth in a 1-mile allowance optional claiming race on the turf at Gulfstream Park last December.
“A lot of times young fillies are a little inconsistent as they develop, and I think now she’s heading in the right direction,” said White. “Sometimes when a younger horse runs a poor race a time or two, it’s just part of the process. Usually before I throw a horse into deep competition, I like to have them a little seasoned. Most of the time horses need seasoning like any professional athlete. You don’t go from high school straight to the NFL; usually you have some steps along the way.”
After turning 3-years-old and returning to run at Calder on January 19 in a 1-mile allowance on the turf, where she finished third, Dream Come True did not run again until her most recent start on March 21. On that day, Dream Come True earned her first allowance score at Calder going one mile on the dirt with a comfortable come-from-behind 2 ½-length victory.
“She’s doing real good right now,” said White. “I thought she won very impressively last time going back to the dirt after running on the grass. I think this is a real good opportunity for her.”
Dream Come True will break from the rail in the nine-horse field with jockey Manoel Cruz aboard. Cruz rode Dream Come True in her last start. Post time for the Oaks is approximately 4 p.m. and is slated as the seventh race. Post time for the first race at Calder is 12:55 p.m.