Woke Up Dreamin Alert in Smile Sprint Victory

Mike Pegram's Woke Up Dreamin took over in the turn and never looked back en route to a three-length victory in the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Calder.

The victory was the second consecutive grade II win for the 5-year-old son of Holy Bull. Previous to the Smile Sprint, Woke Up Dreamin' won True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Calder on June 11.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Woke Up Dreamin has won four of seven starts this season, with third-place finishes in two other Grade 3 events, and has positioned himself as one of the horses to watch for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) in October.

Sent off as the 8-5 favorite under Mike Smith, Woke Up Dreamin was settled slightly off the pace as Toscani set the pace while followed by Don Six. Leaving the turn, Woke Up Dreamin went three wide to assume the lead and outgamed Toscani before drawing off to complete the six furlongs in final time of 1:09.80.

"He's not like some of those horses that are really, really quick in the first quarter, but I was fortunate to almost outbreak the gate -- it's the best he's ever broke," Smith said. "I always `use' him out of there for the first 50 or 100 yards and then let him do his thing and stay out of his way."

The winner paid $5.20, $3.80, and $2.60. Toscani finished second, paying $9.60 and $6.00. Nightmare Affair rallied to finish third and was woth $3.40.

Bred in Kentucky by Harbor View Farm, Woke Up Dreamin has won six of 15 starts.

(Chart: Equibase)