Daydreaming and jockey John Velazquez surged to the lead in midstretch and survived a stewards' inquiry into the closing stages to win the $406,300 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park Friday night.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, the A.P. Indy
filly notched her first graded stakes win by 1 1/2 lengths, blasting past Capeside Lady and even-money choice Stellar Jayne in a superb stretch drive. Daydreaming angled in after taking control in mid-stretch at the same time Capeside Lady, on the inside, drifted out a little. The combination forced Stellar Jayne, between rivals, to alter course slightly and she lost a couple of lengths. Stewards, however, ruled that no corrective action was necessary.
The final time for the 1 1/6-mile test for 3-year-old filiies was 1:43 3/5 on a fast track.
Daydreaming, who was defeated by Stellar Jayne in the Gazelle (gr. I) after she forged to the lead in the stretch run in their last start at Belmont Park, changed tactics with Velazquez this time.
She settled in fourth place as Capeside Lady and Chris DeCarlo set a moderate pace of :23 2/5, :48 and 1:12 while racing on the inside of Storm's Darling. On the far turn, Stellar Jayne, stalking in third with Robby Albarado in the irons, loomed up three wide to challenge for the lead. Velazquez didn't wait, quickly moving Daydreaming up on the extreme outside as they came out of the turn.
Daydreaming fought on through the lane and soon took command. She was not to be denied this time.
"I knew Stellar Jayne had a big kick, so I wanted to make my move on the leaders at the right time," said Velazquez. "As soon as I asked her for speed, she responded."
Capside Lady held on for second by a head over an unfortunate Stellar Jayne, who was unable to fully regain her momentum after the incident in the stretch.
With the victory, Daydreaming more than doubled her career bankroll to $472,180 with her fourth win in seven starts this year. She earned $243,780 for owner/breeder Ogden Mills Phipps.
"We're just pleased. She sure ran down the stretch," Phipps said of his homebred, out of Mr. Prospector mare Get Lucky. "She was second in the last race to the favorite. We feel the older she gets, the better she'll get."
McGaughey added, "She (Daydreaming) ran good. The race worked out well and we had a little speed in front of us. She will go back to New York on Sunday, and then we will take it from there on where she's going next."
The 5-2 third choice in the field of seven, Daydreaming paid $7.20, $5.20 and $2.10. Capeside Lady returned $4.20 and $2.10 while completing a $28.80 exacta. Stellar Jayne's show was $2.10.