Dream Nettie, making his stakes debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, scored a 9-1 upset in winning the $100,000 La Puente Stakes on the Santa Anita turf April 10.
With Joe Talamo aboard, Dream Nettie stalked pacesetter Ace of Aces around the final turn of the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and took the lead in upper stretch. He inched away to gain a narrow advantage in deep stretch and held sway under left-handed urging to tally by three-quarters of a length over Lucky Rave. The final time was 1:48.80 over firm going.
“We thought that Jeff’s horse (Jeff Mullins, Ace of Aces) had the speed and we were trying to be close, either second or third, but we ended up second, so it worked out for a change," said Hollendorfer, who co-owns the winning son of Dixie Union with William DeBurgh and George Todaro. " We have an improving horse and I think the more distance, the better he looks.”
Bred by Claiborne Farm, Dream Nettie was a $130,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase in 2008. The dark bay or brown gelding is out of Tell It, by Storm Cat.
Ace of Aces set slow fractions of :25.12, :50.22, and 1:14.36, which set up perfectly for Dream Nettie, Talamo said.
"I knew we were walking up there and I almost made a middle-move at the half (mile pole), but I waited and chirped to him at the five-sixteenths and he jumped into the bridle," Talamo noted. "He just exploded through the stretch.”
British-bred Lucky Rave took a wide path under David Flores to gain the place spot between foes, a half-length ahead of Irish-bred Bogie and Alex Solis, who finished a head better than Ace of Aces. Fantastic Pick, the 3-1 favorite in the field of eight, finished sixth.
The winner has split time between Southern California and Golden Gate Fields, where he ran a close third in a one-mile allowance race on the Tapeta surface in his most recent start March 14. Dream Nettie owns a lifetime mark of 3-1-1 in nine races with earnings of $107,880.
Dream Nettie was sent off as the second-longest shot on the board and paid $20, $9.20, and $5.80, topping a $136.80 exacta. Lucky Rave returned $6.40 and $4.40. Bogie was $4.80 to show in his U.S. debut for Paddy Gallagher.