Four CA-bred colts are to meet in the $150.000 California Dreamin Stakes at DMR today over 1 1/16 miles on the turf with a pair of three-year-olds as the co-favourites. Team 7 Illusions’ recently acquired Going Gone will break from the rail in the hope of improving his third-place finish in an overnight race at ELP just a week ago. Since that finish, he was sold by Mojica Racing for $57.770, and entered here. The ELP race was the lightly-raced colt’s first time around two turns, and it appears his new connections see him as more of a router than he has ever been tested.
The other favourite is Mb Stables’ precocious No Reason which has won half of his six races. As with his co-favourite, he is taking on stakes level racing for the first time following back-to-back wins in allowance races at MTH and GG, both turf routes giving him the advantage of experience over Going Gone. In fact, all but one of his races have been turf routes meaning he has won three of five turf races at a mile or longer. Ironically, No Reason was bred by the owner of the one horse and sold to his current connections back in February for $19.770.
The horse with the highest SRF number last out is Alberta Rose Stables’ stakes winning Mischief Managed which won the $100.000 Not Surprising at GP on the fourth of July. Also, the most lightly-raced horse in the race, he has been with his current stable only long enough to win that race and is on his third owner in only five races. In another twist of fate, this one was bred by the owner of No Reason before being auction for $2.010 last December. He prepped for this race with a sparkling 1:10 H over this turf course. With that work, that last win and the 99 SRF, what’s not to like?
Finally, Drabfantasy sends out his home-bred Escobas Grandes off a decent third in a SUN overnighter last. With nine races, he is the only non-three-year-old in the race and the most experience, not only in races, but stakes races and the only horse in here with graded stakes history. As a three-year-old, he finished third in the Grade II TAM Derby and raced in two other graded races. He also finished second in the $100.000 Sullivan Stakes. In a ll his racing, only the Sullivan was a turf event, thus explaining the odds for him. He did a dirt breeze blow-out for this in :34 flat.
Looking over this short, but talent-filled race, it highlights the current advantages of three-year-olds over older, whether real or perceived. The perception has given us a lightly attended race with mostly sophomores. What I see with the caliber of Mischief Managed, is a wonder at the odds machine’s decision to set the other two as favourites, and I hesitate to see Going Gone with all that much chance off only eight days rest. Were I handing out the odds and finish order, the race would look like this:
Mischief Managed 7-5
No Reason 2-1
Escobas Grandes 8-1
Going Gone 5-1