Dreaming of Julia Represents Namesake Well
In the last year, Barbara Banke has had incredible luck naming horses after family members. It's a bold thing to do, considering how risky the horse business can be, but each horse bearing a name of Banke's loved one has managed to shine.
"That doesn't happen often—it may be more impressive than having a good horse," said Kentucky bloodstock agent John Moynihan, who often buys horses for Banke at auction.
First was Teen Pauline, named after Banke's mother, who set a track record when she zipped five furlongs in :56.53 in her career debut at Saratoga last summer. The daughter of Tapit also went on to also place in the Sept. 2 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at the New York track.
Then came Kauai Katie, who is named after one of Banke's daughters. After victories in last year's Adirondack and Matron stakes (both gr. II) and this year's Forward Gal (gr. II) and Old Hat (gr. III) stakes, the daughter of Malibu Moon could easily be considered the most accomplished 3-year-old filly sprinter in the country.
Banke's third crown jewel, Dreaming of Julia, named after another daughter, has certainly made her presence known along the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) trail.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the homebred daughter of A.P. Indy most recently posted a breathtaking 21 3/4-length triumph in the March 30 Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II).
Dreaming of Julia didn't need much time to blossom on the track, as she captured her first two career starts last year by nearly 27 lengths. The bay filly then demonstrated the ability to win a close battle, scoring a grade I victory in the Frizette Stakes by a head last October.
She closed her 2-year-old campaign with a respectable third-place finish in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. In her 3-year-old debut she was runner-up to Live Lively in the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II).
Raced in the name of Banke's Stonestreet Stables, Dreaming of Julia boasts a career record of 4-1-1 from six starts, for earnings of $767,000.
Bred in Kentucky, she is out of the four-time graded stakes-winning Wild Rush mare Dream Rush, who scored her biggest victories in the 2007 Darley Test (gr. I) and Prioress (gr. I) stakes.
Moynihan explained how Banke had privately purchased Dream Rush, who was carrying the Kentucky Oaks hopeful.
So is the real life Julia, for whom her star filly was named. "Both she and Katie are big horse racing fans," said Moynihan. "They just love it."
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