Jess's Dream, one of racing's most highly anticipated 2-year-olds, arrived at the barn of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin at Saratoga Race Course the morning of Aug. 3 after a 24-hour van ride from the Stonestreet Training Center in Ocala, Fla.
The colt is the product of a dream mating between Horse of the Year Curlin (2007, 2008) and Rachel Alexandra, the Horse of the Year in 2009. Both champions were raced by the late Stonestreet owner, Jess Jackson, who dreamed of pairing the two before he died in April 2011.
"He arrived in good shape with the other three; a little tired, but they shipped great and we're happy to have been selected to train him," McLaughlin said. As the feisty Tapit colt bucked and screamed in his stall, Jess's Dream snoozed next door.
Jess's Dream was born on Jan. 22, 2012. His name chosen in a contest and revealed in the winner's circle at Saratoga following the running of the 2012 Curlin Stakes.
McLaughlin said the colt will gallop on the main track at 9:20 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 4.
"We'll get him started tomorrow—show him a new place, canter," McLaughlin said. "He could race this fall. He's been working in Florida at the farm."
McLaughlin knows a horse with such a magnificent pedigree fires the imagination of racing fans. He, too, is excited.
"I think the nice thing is Stonestreet is very knowledgeable, sharp people, all of them involved, from (owner) Barbara (Banke) on down," McLaughlin said. "They understand the game. Sure, there's a lot of hype, and there should be—two Horses of the Year being mated. We're all hopeful, but we're just getting started."