TORONTO, June 5, 2022 – Dreaming of Drew came up with a dream performance in Sunday’s $119,000 Belle Mahone Stakes, for fillies and mares, four-year-olds and up, at Woodbine.
Trainer Barb Minshall’s pre-race strategy session with jockey Kazushi Kimura paid off with another trip to the stakes winner’s circle for the impressive four-year-old Ontario-bred who had missed the entire 2021 racing season.
Sent off as the 2-1 choice in the field of 10 in the 1 1/16-mile main track feature, Dreaming of Drew was hustled to the lead by Kimura, as Il Malocchio, last year’s Bison City Stakes winner, settled into second spot, as longshot Stand for the Flag and Alydiva sat third and fourth, respectively.
On top by two lengths after an opening quarter in :24.60, Dreaming of Drew was 1 ½-lengths ahead of Il Malocchio after a half-mile reached in :49.11.
As the field rounded the turn for home, Kimura and Dreaming of Drew expanded their lead, as Il Malocchio and Munnyfor Ro, last year’s Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s champion three-year-old female, attempted in vain to track down the leader.
Dreaming of Drew crossed the wire a 2 ¾-length winner. Il Malocchio bested Munnyfor Ro by three-quarters of a length for runner-up honours. Alydiva was fourth. The final time was 1:44.08.
“I’ve been on her two or three times in the morning and she’s eager, always running strong,” said Kimura. “I wanted her to be comfortable and when I put her on the lead, she tried to pay attention to me, and she was so comfortable to me. On the backstretch, I was so comfortable with her. I 100 percent knew she was going to run at the top of the stretch.”
Minshall was understandably pleased with how the winning blueprint came together for the multiple stakes winning daughter of Speightster-Dreaming of Liz, who was victorious in the 2020 Princess Elizabeth Stakes and this year’s Long Branch Stakes, on April 16.
“She was really comfortable,” offered Minshall. “I just told him [Kimura], ‘Let her be comfortable.’ I didn’t see a lot of speed in here. I thought the seven [Skygaze] might show a little bit more speed. I said, ‘If no one goes, you just do what you want to do. She can more than wire this group.’”
Which is precisely what Dreaming of Drew, now 4-2-1 from eight career starts, did on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine.
Owned by Hoolie Racing Stable, LLC, and Madaket Stables LLC, the chestnut was bred by WinStar Farm.
She paid $6.20, $3.90 and $3, combining with Il Malocchio ($7.70, $4.80) for a $40.70 exactor. Munnyfor Ro ($4.10) completed a $217.60 triactor, while Alydiva rounded out a $1 superfecta that returned $589.75.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues Thursday at Woodbine with a first post of 5:05 p.m.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms