The 3-year-old filly chalked up her second grade I victory in a row for trainer Rick Violette Jr. after capturing the six-furlong Prioress at Belmont Park in her last start July 7.
An expected pace battle never materialized Saturday. Dream Rush, after setting fast fractions of :22 1/5 and :44 2/5 on her own for jockey Eibar Coa, simply left the field behind, opening up a three-length advantage on the turn for home. The extra eighth in the seven-furlong Test was not a factor as the dark bay daughter of Wild Rush-Turbo Dream (Unbridled) opened up a 5 1/2-length lead and held sway for a two-length victory under steady urging in a time of 1:22 2/5.
Violette noted the early splits. “Twenty-two and one, twenty-two and two. I said, `Wow, how sweet is that!’ The first quarter might have been the whole key. She broke sharp and just dragged Coa there. She wasn’t pressured the whole quarter.
"She accelerates on her own around the turn. She did it in the Prioress and she did it in the Nassau County. It’s a pretty good asset. She gets other horses off the bridle, and the sooner you get them off the bridle, you take them out of their game. She’s just a very, very special horse. Obviously, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Oct. 26) is the ultimate goal. What we do in-between, I’m not sure. There’s nothing that is an automatic fit.”
Dream Rush races for the partnership of West Point Stable, Lewis Lakin, and John Sikura. Bred in Kentucky by James H. Petrey Jr., she was purchased for $285,000 as a 2-year-old at the 2006 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s February sale.
Boca Grande got going late on the outside under Julien Leparoux to nip Baroness Thatcher and Garrett Gomez by a neck for second. A disappointing effort was turned in by second-choice Cotton Blossom, the Todd Pletcher trainee who defeated Dream Rush in the one-mile Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont in June. After breaking on top for regular rider John Velazquez from the extreme outside post, she dropped back to mid-pack on the backstretch and was never involved, trailing in the stretch before finishing 10th.
Dream Rush is undefeated in three starts with Coa in the saddle. In addition to the Prioress, they teamed to capture the Nassau Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Belmont by more than nine lengths in May. Dream Rush's only loss in her last four starts came when she was caught late by Cotton Blossom in the Acorn. Gomez rode Dream Rush that day.
Coa said he did not expect to be leading on his own.
"I wanted to break and save. When we broke in front and nobody went, we took the lead easily. She gave me a good run around the turn and then opened up a little bit. I think that’s what she wants -- just to be happy around that area. She gave me a little bit extra in the end, and that was enough."
Dream Rush has won six of eight lifetime races and has never finished below second. She earned $150,000 Aug. 4 to run her career total to $599,739.
She paid $4.50, $3.20 and $2.50. Boca Grande, coming off a third-place finish in the Mother Goose (gr. I) at Belmont June 30 for trainer Shug McGaughey. Baroness Thatcher was $4.90 to show.
It was 2 3/4 lengths back to fourth-place finisher Sheets. She was followed by High Again, Akronism, Debbie Got Even, Silver Knockers, Astor Park, Cotton Blossom, Down and Time's Mistress.
Earlier in the day, Teuflesberg, the 17th-place finisher in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), finished second in his turf debut for trainer Jamie Sanders in the $80,000 Glow Stakes at Saratoga.
The 3-year-old son of Johannesburg raced near the front for most of the one-mile event and had the lead at the head of the stretch under Edgar Prado before being overtaken by David Donk trainee Pays to Dream. Teuflesberg returned $3.90 and $3.20 to place.