Celtic Dreamin, runner-up in this year’s $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, was given the green light to make his turf debut this Sunday in Santa Anita’s $100,000 added Crystal Water Handicap against California-breds after a sharp grass workout March 10.
With Alex Solis aboard, Celtic Dreamin stepped five furlongs on Santa Anita’s turf course in 1:00. It was the fastest of eight grass works at the distance.
“He worked very good on the turf,” trainer Rafael Becerra said. “I was very happy with it. He couldn’t have handled the turf any better. Alex was very happy with it, too. So we’re planning to run him in the Crystal Water.”
Solis is scheduled to ride the gelded son of Game Plan—Astral Dreamer, by On the Sauce, in the Crystal Water. The race comes 15 days after Celtic Dreamin finished 14th in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), the first time that he had not finished first or second in 10 career starts.
“He just didn’t seem to handle the track,” Becerra said. “He never did pick up the bit. He just galloped around there. It didn’t take anything out of him, which makes it easier to run him so quick. If he runs a good race on the turf, that will give us another option for the Gold Rush at Hollywood Park (April 27). We could run him in either the mile and an eighth turf race ($150,000 Khaled Stakes) or the seven and a half-furlong race on the main track ($150,000 Tiznow Stakes).”
Celtic Dreamin was claimed by his current owner, K.K. Sangara, for $40,000 when making his career debut in a race for maiden claimers at Santa Anita last April 18. His biggest win so far came in the British Columbia Derby (Can-III) at Hastings Racecourse last Sept. 13. Prior to the Big ’Cap, Celtic Dreamin finished second to Go Between in the Sunshine Millions Classic, which this year was held at Santa Anita.