Gary Tanaka's Hallowed Dream, a winner of her last three starts on the Santa Anita lawn for trainer Ben Cecil, shipped to Northern California to take the closing day $125,625 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) with a superb effort at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Hallowed Dream, a 4-year-old bay filly who ran second as a maiden in the 2005 Italian Oaks (Ity-I) for trainer Clive Brittain, earned her first graded stakes victory by 1 1/4 lengths over Sky Dreams. Dreams Come True completed "dream" trifecta of $392.50 that did not include the even-money favorite, Dream Lady, trained by Bobby Frankel. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile turf event for fillies and mares was 1:47.76, .05 seconds off the track record set by Blues Traveller in 1994.
Tanaka earlier won the Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita with Star Parade, saddled by Darrell Vienna.
Ridden by Dennis Carr – just back from a five-day riding suspension – Hallowed Dream dropped to the rail while racing in mid-pack. She angled four wide to circle her rivals coming off the far turn to challenge for the lead in upper stretch and closed with authority to hold off the stalking Sky Dreams and jockey Chance Rollins, part of a Jerry Hollendorfer-trained entry that went off at odds of 17-1. Dreams Come True, a longer priced entry for Frankel ridden by Omar Berrio, rallied willingly through the homestretch to get third, another 1 1/4 lengths behind.
"This was good way to salvage the week coming out of a five-day suspension," said Carr. "Everything went according to plan. Ben said to get her relaxed a little bit behind horses. At the three-eighths pole, I asked her to go through a hole and she jumped into it. When I got her out, she just cut and run."
Dream Lady, coming off a 3 1/2-length allowance win at nine furlongs on the Santa Anita turf, had every opportunity as she ranged up on the inside with room to run in the stretch, but could not get the job done for jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. Dream Lady had not been worse than second in her previous seven starts while racing on the Belmont/Saratoga circuit last spring and summer and in Southern California this season.
Hallowed Dream, who is by Alhaarth, arrived in Cecil's barn after her one-length defeat in the Italian Oaks to finish last in the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park last summer. She was given three months to regroup after that and responded with two strong efforts against maiden allowance foes before finally breaking through on the Santa Anita grass Dec. 28. She followed that win with a nine-furlong first-level allowance triumph over the same course Feb. 15 and a victory by a nose going 1 1/4 miles against optional allowance/claimers one month later. Her American record now stands at 4-1-1 in seven starts.
Overall, Hallowed Dream has four wins in 16 outings with earnings of $302,448. Sunday's win was worth $68,750.
Eleanor Rose carved a fast pace – :22 3/5, :46 4/5 and 1:10 4/5 – and stuck around before giving way when collared by Hallowed Dream in upper stretch.
Hallowed Dream paid $11, $6.60 and $4.60, combining with Sky Dreams ($13, $6.80) for a $156.20 exacta. Dreams Come True was $5.80 to show.
Strong Faith missed show dough by a head. Eleanor Rose, Dream Lady, Midwife, Marla Bay, Secret Corsage and Papillon Rouge followed her.
Apprentice jockey Martin Garcia, 21, won the riding championship at the 65-day Golden Gate season by riding 109 winners. He took the title by 15 victories over perennial champ Russell Baze.
Baze, who has won 26 riding titles at Golden Gate, had been the leading rider at every major Northern California meeting at which he had competed full-time – not missed time due to injury or competing on another circuit – since 1980.
Baze and Garcia tied for the riding title at the 2005-2006 holiday meeting at Bay Meadows with 47 wins apiece.
Jerry Hollendorfer collected his 28th straight training championship at Golden Gate Fields by saddling 57 winners.
Racing in Northern California shifts to Bay Meadows for a 28-day stand beginning on Wednesday.