The Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) Oct. 5 looked to be a matchup between Five Iron and Charming Kitten but California shipper Kid Dreams ran a smasher to upset the favorites in the 1 1/8-mile turf test (VIDEO).
Longshot Mongolian Saturday assumed the early lead in the $200,000 event at rainy Hawthorne Race Course and at one point appeared as if he was going to steal the race. Racing over a soft course he led through pedestrian fractions of :25.85, :52.20, and 1:18.85 through the first six furlongs but gave way in upper stretch.
Five Iron, the 2-1 favorite off a grade III victory in the Saranac Stakes at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Brian Lynch, was in a stalking position throughout and looked poised to take charge when Kid Dreams kicked in on the outside to take over.
Ridden by Francisco Torres for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, the 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid continued to extend his lead and won by a widening 7 3/4 lengths as the 9-2 third choice in a field of 10. The final time was 2:01.49.
Robert S. Evans' Ontario homebred is a bay colt out of the Silver Hawk mare Dreams. He improved his career record to 3-1-2 in 11 starts while upping his earnings to $258,205.
Charming Kitten, the stakes-winning and grade II-placed homebred for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was never far back and finished well for second as the 3-1 second choice, with Five Iron 1 3/4 lengths farther back in third.
Kid Dreams paid $11.20, $4.60, $4.40. Charming Kitten was worth $4 and $3.40, with Five Iron returning $3.20.
"My horse really appreciated the soft course today,” Torres said. “Up the backside he had me right where I wanted to be and I was just waiting to push the button on him. That's how much horse I had. The soft going was definitely to our benefit."
"My horse was running pretty comfortable I thought, but at the quarter pole I could feel him get off the bit,” said Chris Emigh, who rode Five Iron. “(From) there I was just trying to carry him home. The horse has a lot of heart, the last quarter he was tired."
After breaking his maiden in his second career start at Santa Anita Park, Kid Dreams was competitive in allowance/optional claimers in Southern California until shipping to Woodbine in Canada where he was fifth, four lengths behind the winner, in the Plate Trial Stakes. After finishing a close fourth (1 3/4 lengths behind the winner) in the Charlie Barley Stakes, Kid Dreams was moved up to third after being bumped and forced to check.
The colt came into the Hawthorne Derby off a fourth, 1 1/2 lengths behind winner Ethnic Dance, in a division of the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sept. 1.