Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna broke like a rocket and never looked back as she romped home in the $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Sept. 8.
The Eclipse Award-winning filly, fresh off a victory in the July 21 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs, shot to the front of a 12-horse field under jockey E.T. Baird and was clearly the best as she led through quick early fractions of :23.31 and :47.34. She rated comfortably up the backside and was never challenged as the field turned for home.
Touch My Soul put in a late run on the rail, and Bel Air Beauty and Lemonlime closed in a photo for third, but Dreaming of Anna opened her advantage and drew away to a 4 1/2-length lead as she crossed the wire under a confident hand ride from Baird.
"She ran a great race," Baird said. "She's a free-running filly, a real racehorse. It was all her; I didn't rate her. I just let her run free, run her own race, and she just picked it up turning for home. She's pretty much push-button, and it's a thrill to ride her. I had a real good feeling turning for home."
Dreaming of Anna ran 1 1/8 miles over the turf in 1:48.20, returning $4.60, $3, and $2.60 to win. Touch My Soul under jockey Rene Douglas paid $7.60 and $6.40 to place, while Bel Air Beauty brought $7.80 to show.
The Pucker Up victory marks the third consecutive stakes win for the daughter of Rahysince a disappointing sixth-place finish – her only failure to hit the board – in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). She now has a 7-1-1 record from 10 lifetime starts, including a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), for trainer Wayne Catalano.
Catalano said Dreaming of Anna's next start would be the Oct. 13 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland Race Course.
Dreaming of Anna is a full sister to Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, winner of the July 28 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II).