Mike Smith, Holy Bull Connection Scores Again

Mike Smith, Holy Bull Connection Scores Again
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Woke Up Dreamin wakes up a winner in the True North.
Mike Smith won a stakes race at Belmont Park Saturday aboard a son of Holy Bull. No, not the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Giacomo, though he certainly hopes that happens later on the card.

Woke Up Dreamin led every step of the way and was never seriously challenged in winning the $212,900 True North Breeders' Cup (gr. II) by two lengths under Smith in the first graded stakes on the Belmont day card.

"He's a big, heavy-set colt," Smith said of the winner, "but I got him out and he settled and went really well."

In the Belmont, Smith, who has won seven Belmont Park riding titles, is aboard Giacomo, a son of Holy Bull whom he rode to victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and a third-place finish in the Preakness (gr. I).

The Belmont track has been favoring speed, and it did in the True North. Woke Up Dreamin cut fractions of :21.97, :44.43, and :56.10, before crossing the line in the six-furlong race in 1:08.38.

Voodoo, with Javier Castellano riding, sat just a few lengths off the early leaders and made his run down the lane to get second while never threatening the winner. Mass Media, Jose Santos aboard, closed ground in third, finishing 2 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

Out of the Storm Cat mare Dreamlike, Woke Up Dreamin was bred in Kentucky by Harbor View Farm. The 5-year-old horse is owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert.

John Terranova saddled Woke Up Dreamin for Baffert, who picked up his first victory in the True North.

"Mike got him out of the gate good, which has been a problem, and it kept him going in the right direction," Terranova said. "I'm glad the heat and nothing else bothered him today."

It was the first stakes win for Woke Up Dreamin, who ran third in the Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) in his last start at Hollywood Park. The victory improved the bay's record to 5-1-3 in 14 lifetime starts with earnings of $282,475. Saturday's victory was worth $128,200.

Woke Up Dreamin paid $13.80, $7.70, and $5. Voodoo returned $21.20 and $9.70 while Mass Media paid $5.10.

Favored Smokume, going off at odds of 5-2, faded to fourth under Chantal Sutherland after dueling for the lead along the inside into the stretch.

"He can definitely go with those fractions," Sutherland said. "He held on, but the problem is that he gets out a lot. I wanted to switch my stick, but I couldn't because he'll keep going out even more. So, I just tried to get him to stay as straight as possible."

She was followed by Willy o'the Valley, Aggadan, Vicarage, With Distinction, Key Deputy and Sing Me Back Home. Abbondanza and Always Noble scratched.

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