Frank Calabrese’s undefeated Eclipse champion filly Dreaming of Anna makes her highly anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, facing five rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong test with Rene Douglas aboard.
The Old Hat shares the spotlight on Saturday’s program with the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), also for 3-year-old fillies, but contested at one mile.
Dreaming of Anna makes her first appearance since her stunning wire-to-wire victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. The Kentucky homebred captured her first three starts at Arlington Park, Colonial Downs and the Summer Stakes (Can-II) against male rivals at Woodbine prior to the Breeders’ Cup.
The chestnut daughter of Rahy has trained sharply for Wayne Catalano at Palm Meadows, drilling a bullet five-eighths in :59 1/5 last Saturday. Her connections have indicated that the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or possibly the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could be the major springtime options under consideration, depending on how she comes back this season.
"I'm really excited about getting a horse like her going again," Catalano said Thursday. "She's really doing well. I think she's grown, filled out, gotten stronger and more mature since everyone last saw her at Churchill Downs."
Dreaming of Anna will likely be odds-on with her most dangerous rivals expected to be Jayeff B Stable’s You Asked and Carl Bowling’s Secretsoftheheart, both allowance winners this meet.
Jockey Mark Guidry gets the call on You Asked for trainer Alan Goldberg. The daughter of Yes It’s True captured her career debut at Monmouth Park in June and finished second in an Aqueduct allowance in December in her only two starts prior to an off-the-pace victory at Gulfstream going six furlongs on Jan. 18.
Leading rider Cornelio Velasquez hops aboard Secretsoftheheart, a winner of three of five starts, including the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies at Calder in November in her second start. Trained by Shawn Musgrave, the roan/grey daughter of Put it Back turned back to sprinting six furlongs for her ‘two other than’ victory at Gulfstream on Jan. 20 after tiring twice in two-turn stakes at Calder.
Completing the field for the Old Hat are West Point Thoroughbreds and Lewis Lakin’s Dream Rush, Rafael Bejarano; Silverton Hill LLC’s Splendid in Spring, Elvis Trujillo; and Bear Stable’s Bear Now, Tommy Turner.
$150,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 4:21 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Dream Rush (KY), 119, Rafael Bejarano
2. Splendid in Spring (KY), 115, Elvis Trujillo
3. Bear Now (KY), 117, Tom G. Turner
4. Dreaming of Anna (KY), 121, Rene R. Douglas
5. Secretsoftheheart (FL), 119, Cornelio H. Velasquez
6. You Asked (FL), 115, Mark Guidry