The speedy Dream Rush figures to be the odds-on choice against just four rivals in the $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies battling over seven furlongs at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Owned by West Point Stable, Lewis Lakin and William Lawrence, Dream Rush sports three wins in a four-race career. Her only defeat came in a second-level allowance at Gulfstream in her first start of 2007 when she was taken back in an effort to get her to settle better in her races. The Wild Rush filly got into a ton of trouble that day and was beaten three-quarters of a length as the 1-5 favorite.
Eibar Coa rides Dream Rush for trainer Rick Violette Jr. with an obvious advantage. Changeisgonnacome is the only other filly in the Nassau County that has a chance to run with Dream Rush early.
“We don’t have to be on the lead,” said Violette. “We schooled her for that reason two starts back.”
Seven furlongs will be a new test for Dream Rush. After her first three starts at six furlongs or shorter, she stretched out successfully to 6 1/2 furlongs when she won the Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream by 3 1/2 lengths over 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Dreaming of Anna.
Dream Rush has not run since the Feb. 10 Old Hat. She was supposed to start in the Beaumont (gr. II) last month at Keeneland, but had to miss that race.
“She got sick a little bit at Keeneland and we had to pass the Beaumont,” Violette said.
Violette is hoping the Nassau County will be a nice progression to the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) at one mile on June 9, Belmont Stakes day. The Acorn, Violette said, “will be a significant threshold” in determining what are Dream Rush’s distance limitations.
Changeisgonnacome has been freshened up since setting the pace and tiring in the Forward Gal (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 10. Trainer Mike Trombetta has pumped several bullet works into the Cherokee Run filly for her return to the races. Although she faltered badly in the seven-furlong Forward Gal, Changeisgonnacome did win a second-level allowance at Gulfstream going seven-eighths.
Cash’s Girl will try seven furlongs for the second time in her career Saturday after finishing fourth in last year’s Matron (gr. I) at Belmont. Kiaran McLaughlin took over training of the filly in December and she has won one of two starts this year. After running second in her 2007 debut, Cash’s Girl returned to win the True Affair, an overnight stakes at Aqueduct April 11.
Lady Marlboro finished third in the True Affair, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Cash’s Girl. With only three starts under her belt, the daughter of Smoke Glacken is eligible to improve in the Nassau County.
Lia’s Luck will try the Nassau County off an allowance-winning effort at Gulfstream March 18. Trainer Joe Orseno has given Lia’s Luck plenty of time to rebound from her career-best performance.
Parking lots at Belmont will open at 10:15 a.m. for Kentucky Derby day simulcasting with admission gates to follow at 10:30. Self-service windows and Telebet wagering starts at 10:30 with select manned mutuel windows opening at 11:45. Belmont’s first live race goes off at 1 p.m.
$200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:48 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Cash's Girl (FL), 118, Alan Garcia
2. Dream Rush (KY), 122, Eibar Coa
3. Changeisgonnacome (VA), 118, Michael J. Luzzi
4. Lady Marlboro (KY), 116, Joe Bravo
5. Lia's Luck (KY), 116, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.