Livin the Dream Racing’s Dream Empress, winner of the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) and runner-up in last year's Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), will make her 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIT) March 15 on the Gulfstream Park turf. But trainer Ken McPeek said the Bernstein filly is not a candidate for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Instead, McPeek said the ultimate goal for Dream Empress would be the June 5 Epsom Oaks (Eng-IT), the second leg of England’s Triple Crown for fillies. Between now and then, the bay filly will likely run in the Ashland (gr. I) April 4 on Keeneland’s Polytrack and possibly ship to England for a prep race at Newmarket.
“She has never trained well on dirt,” said McPeek.
In her only start on natural dirt, Dream Empress finished a well-beaten fourth in the Nov. 29 Golden Rod (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. That race concluded her juvenile campaign, which saw her earn more than $750,000. She broke her maiden on the turf at Saratoga in her second start. Dream Empress has spent much of the winter in Florida training at Palm Meadows.
Kent Desormeaux will ride Dream Empress in the nine-furlong Herecomesthebride, which immediately precedes the grade II Inside Information for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the turf. She will carry top weight of 122 pounds.
Dream Empress will face seven rivals March 15, including the top three finishers of in the Feb. 15 Coconut Grove Stakes at Gulfstream–Farnsworth Stables’ Gozzip Girl, Chester Bishop’s Oilgonewile, and Andrew Farm and Frank O’Connor’s Obesquious.