Broken Dreams overtook speed-burning Kindle in the closing strides to win the $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita Park Oct. 20 for the second year in a row (VIDEO) .
Garrett Gomez guided Broken Dreams to a half-length victory that certainly looked doubtful as Kindle reached the furlong pole five lengths in front. But wickedly quick fractions down the hill (:20.97, :42.53) caught up with the Gary Mandella-trained Kindle late in her turf debut. Broken Dreams, stalking in second all the way around at odds of 3-1, was along in time under strong handling from Gomez to make the pacesetter pay.
The winning time for the about 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:11.81 over firm going, four-fifths of a second off the course mark.
Gomez said he was concerned by Kindle's big lead in upper stretch.
"The simple fact is, coming to the dirt, instead of picking (Kindle) up, she actually moved away from me another length or so and I was like, 'Oh, man.' I know my filly is going to stay going 6 1/2 and I know she's going to keep coming.
"But by the time we hit inside the eighth pole, she (Kindle) wasn't coming back still," Gomez continued "I had maybe made up a little bit of ground on her, but not much, not enough to get there. Finally, Mandella's filly went ahead and threw in the towel and folded up about the last 50 yards, and I knew Broken Dreams was going to stay on well."
Winning trainer Tom Proctor said the swift tempo was just what he wanted to see for his Glen Hill Farm homebred.
"I felt pretty good until they crossed the dirt and (Kindle) kind of sprinted away," he said. "But (Broken Dreams) really finished in the last 50 yards."
Late-running Byrama, the slight 2-1 favorite over Kindle in the field of eight fillies and mares, finished just a neck behind Kindle.
In 2011, Broken Dreams used a half-length win in the Senator Maddy as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT), where she finished 13th going five furlongs on a good Churchill Downs course. This year's Maddy falls three weeks later on the calendar at Santa Anita, however. It would likely rule out a return for the 6-year-old Broken Vow mare in two weeks in spite of her fondness for the unique layout.
Proctor said he would consider the Goldikova Stakes (gr. IIT), formerly the Las Palmas, at one mile on the turf Nov. 4 instead.
Broken Dreams is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Our Dreamer.
Now with two wins and two seconds in four tries on the hillside, Broken Dreams was shortening up after finishing eighth in the 1 1/16-mile Yellow Ribbon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar Sept. 3. The chestnut mare won Del Mar's Osunitas Stakes prior to that, her only prior victory this year in five starts.
Broken Dreams, with a 7-5-1 mark from 22 lifetime races, has now banked $377,682. Carrying 118 pounds, Broken Dreams paid $8.40, $5, and $3 as the third choice.
Kindle, who posted an impressive three-length win in the Bangle and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park in her stakes bow Sept. 21, returned $4.40 and $3.20 with Edwin Maldonado aboard. The exacta was worth $40.20.
"Just a little bit too long for her, but she's a good filly with a big heart," Mandella said of the runner-up.
Byrama, the only 3-year-old in the field, won the Unzip Me Stakes over the course Sept. 29. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano for trainer Simon Callaghan, the British-bred daughter of Byron rallied from seventh after a half-mile and paid $2.40 to show.