Late-running Broken Dreams took advantage of a wicked pace and an opening between horses in deep stretch to post a surprise victory in the $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (gr. IIIT) as racing returned to Santa Anita for the fall meeting Sept. 30 (VIDEO).
Ridden patiently on Santa Anita's hillside turf course by Garrett Gomez, Broken Dreams registered her first graded stakes win for trainer Tom Proctor and owner/breeder Leonard Lavin's Glen Hill Farm. She tallied by a half-length at odds of 11-2 over another closer, Givine, with Tanda a nose farther back in third. Unzip Me, the 4-5 favorite, wound up fourth after contesting the hot pace. The final time for about 6 1/2 furlongs was a solid 1:12.23 over firm going.
Broken Dreams is a 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow out of the Storm Cat mare Our Dreamer. She won for the second time in eight starts this year after previously defeating Unzip Me in a six-furlong allowance race at Hollywood Park July 14. In her most recent start, the chestnut mare finished a good closing fourth behind the victorious Unzip Me in the Daisycutter Handicap at five furlongs on the Del Mar grass Aug. 12.
"She actually ran good last time," Proctor said. "The stretch at Del Mar is a little too short for her. It was really one of her better races, and I thought if she could run that way today, maybe she’d win. It’s nice to see her win a stakes. This was a good bunch of fillies.”
The Maddy highlighted the opening program of a 24-day stand at Santa Anita, which is hosting the autumn meet again following a one-year absence. Operated since 1969 by the not-for-profit Oak Tree Racing Association, the Southern California fall meet is being conducted this year under Santa Anita management.
The meet was held last year at Hollywood Park due to complaints from horsemen about the condition of Santa Anita's former synthetic main track, which has been replaced with a dirt, silt, and clay mixture.
A field of six older fillies and mares contested the Maddy, with multiple graded stakes winner Unzip Me, boasting a record of five wins in seven starts on the unique course, sent off as the overwhelming favorite over second choice Tanda, the 123-pound high weight.
Separate Forest, ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, set out quickly for the lead down the hill as Unzip Me pulled her way into second under Rafael Bejarano through blazing early fractions of :21.53 and :43.30. Tanda, with Joe Talamo aboard, was close to the leaders as well while Broken Dreams and the the Joel Rosario-ridden Givine settled at the back.
Broken Dreams was next-to-last last at the top of the stretch but advancing smartly through the lane as Unzip Me, Separate Forest, and Tanda on the outside vied on even terms for the lead. Gomez found room between horses slightly off the rail in deep stretch and Broken Dreams drove through impressively under urging to take control along the inside in the final strides.
The French-bred filly Givine, rallying on the outside, finished willingly from last to pip Tanda for second. Unzip Me finished a half-length away, followed by Separate Forest and Waveline.
"I thought Unzip Me would be out there and a couple of them might put some pressure on her," Gomez said. "She didn’t break all that well and he (Bejarano) kind of gunned her up in between horses a little bit. I knew that would help me because he was about a length behind leaving the gate, so I knew he had to make up a length and try to put her where he wanted her.
"I found myself back towards the fence a little bit and had to angle in, and she just stayed on well," Gomez added. "This is a great distance for her. Down at Del Mar, five-eighths of a mile is just a little too short for her. She wants to settle just a little bit and six and a half furlongs is a really good distance for her.”
The winner improved her career mark to 5-5-1 in 15 races with earnings of $256,433.
Broken Dreams carried 118 pounds and paid $13.40, $5.40, $6.80 as the third choice in the small field. Givine returned $7.20 and $7.60 in a game try, completing an exacta that was worth $68.60. Tanda, winner of Del Mar's Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) on Polytrack in her prior start Aug. 21, paid $5.60 to show.