Making his stakes debut for trainer Neil Drysdale, Dreamy Kid caught hot 1-2 favorite Coil at the wire for a head victory in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) July 9 at Hollywood Park (VIDEO).
Joe Talamo guided the 19-1 shot Dreamy Kid from last in the field of five for the colt's first victory against winners. Robert S. Evans' homebred son of Lemon Drop Kid broke his maiden by a nose May 26 at Hollywood. He wore blinkers for the first time in the Swaps.
Coil, winner of the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) last month, had a three-race win streak for trainer Bob Baffert ended. The talented son of Point Given may have lost the Swaps early in the race when he was pulling hard to keep up with the determined front-runner Runflatout. Baffert was aiming for a record fifth victory in the 3-year-old event.
Coil put away Runflatout past the eighth pole and was inching away late but could not keep off the advancing Dreamy Kid, who won the 1 1/8-mile Cushion Track test in 1:50.43. Uncle Sam, a second Baffert entrant in the short field, finished third, followed by Runflatout and Spud Spivens. Boxeur des Rues scratched.
A tugging Runflatout, breaking a step slowly from the rail, hustled to the front while posting fractions of :23.78, :48.48, and 1:12.98. Coil was fighting Martin Garcia as he forced the pace and floated out slightly in the stretch while getting a half-length edge over Runflatout at the eighth pole. Dreamy Kid was fourth at that point after splitting horses but kept charging to get up in the final stride.
Talamo, who finished second aboard Sidney's Candy in last year's Swaps, considered going four-wide on the final turn.
"But I hate going that wide," he said. "Anytime you go four-wide, they usually hang the last part. So I went to wait and wait and I said, 'You know if he runs like he works, he'll win.' And man, he really had a nice turn of foot. He's the kind of horse that's just going to get better and better."
Drysdale, who has won the Swaps three times, said he put blinkers on the colt for the first time to cut down on distractions.
"We worked him the other day in blinkers and it made a huge difference," he said. "We wanted to put blinkers on for the last race but we couldn't because he had won his previous race and you're not allowed to put blinkers on after you've won."
Dreamy Kid, who is out of the Silver Hawk mare Dreams, took four races to break his maiden in a 1 1/16-mile test. In his first try against winners, the bay colt finished fourth, beaten by three lengths, in an optional claiming allowance race also at 1 1/6 miles.
Dreamy Kid carried a feathery 112 pounds to victory while paying $40, $8, and $4.40 while keying an $82.20 exacta. Coil, the 118-pound high weight, returned $2.60 and $2.10. Uncle Sam, getting back to a synthetic surface after finishing eighth in the Lone Star Derby on grass May 30, was 2 1/4 lengths farther back while paying $3 to show.
"Turning for home, I thought (Coil) was going to win by a lot, but you just can't do that on a synthetic (surface)," said Baffert. The trainer said he will point Coil toward either the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga July 30 or the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park July 31.