Winless in 19 starts at Gulfstream Park this winter, trainer Shug McGaughey came back to Aqueduct March 19 to win with three of his four starters, including Survivalist in the Gotham (gr. III). Friday afternoon, McGaughey added another stakes win to his resume when the Phipps Stable's favored Daydreaming captured the $110,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III).Daydreaming, carrying co-high weight of 119 pounds, rallied from just off the pace to win the 1 1/8-mile test for fillies and mares by a length over Saintliness in a time of 1:50 3/5 on a main track listed as "good."It was the third winner of the afternoon for another snowbird, jockey Edgar Prado, who kept Daydreaming a close third to front-running and previously undefeated Saintliness. A winner of five straight until Friday, Saintliness set the pace of :24; :48; 1:13 3/5 and 1:38, with Rare Gift pressing in second.Daydreaming, however, enjoyed a clear three-wide trip and when Prado set her down in the lane, she responded so well that her jockey didn't use the whip he had drawn. "She broke sharp and was right up there," Prado said. "I was biding my time. She did it mostly on her own. She's a real nice filly. It looked like she was looking for competition after she made the lead in the stretch. I didn't think anyone could beat her today. I didn't even have to use the stick in the stretch."The long-term goal for Daydreaming is Saratoga, where the 4-year-old A.P. Indy filly won an optional claimer last year. McGaughey believes he has plenty of options before the Spa, now that Daydreaming successfully rebounded from a fourth-place finish in Gulfstream's Sabin Handicap (gr. III) on Feb. 26."I was disappointed in her race down in Florida," McGaughey said. "I was glad to get her back up here. She trained well since she's been back up here. Now, we've got a win in her and we can do what we want."I think she wants more of a pace. Gulfstream is a little bit quicker racetrack than this is, so the pace last time was a little slower. I wanted Edgar to let her get away from there and get comfortable. I thought it was a really good race for her."
Saintliness held off Rare Gift to take the place by a head. Daydreaming earned $66,00 for the Phipps Stable and returned $5, $3 and $2.60. Saintliness paid $3.50 and $3.10 and Rare Gift showed at $5.70. Friel's for Real, Miss Fortunate, Grinch, Take Me Three and Think Fast trailed. Pour It On was scratched.