BEVERLY D. STAKES | PURSE: $750,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 3/16 MILES (TURF)
In her prior visit to North America, Andrew Stone's I'm a Dreamer had missed by a scant head in last fall's Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine. Making another trip for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes, the English-based mare found Arlington Park a happier hunting ground. With England's top female rider Hayley Turner aboard, the David Simcock trainee just held on from Marketing Mix by a diminishing head, and capped a European triple in the International Festival of Racing.
I'm a Dreamer had gone winless since the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes in May 2011, but she had turned in solid efforts in all three starts this campaign. Third to the classy Izzi Top in the Group 2 Middleton in her May 17 reappearance, the daughter of Noverre was a sneakily-good fourth versus males in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard and reported home third to Izzi Top once again in the Group 1 Pretty Polly last time out July 1. Everything finally fell into place for her in the sister race to the Grade 1 Arlington Million, where she went off at 6-1.
As expected, Romacaca hustled to the front, but encountered persistent pressure from the Aidan O'Brien-trained Up through splits of :23 3/5, :48 2/5 and 1:12 2/5. English invader Joviality also took up a close stalking spot, as did Upperline. Marketing Mix was reserved in midpack, and I'm a Dreamer bided her time in seventh. The 3-1 favorite Aruna found herself in last after taking a stumble right out of the gate.
Rounding the far turn into the stretch, the three-year-old Up wrested the lead from Romacaca. Joviality went right after her younger rival, and wider out, I'm a Dreamer was likewise rallying into contention. Meanwhile, Marketing Mix was buried behind horses and having to wait to angle out. She eventually came around I'm a Dreamer, but the proverbial damage had already been done.
I'm a Dreamer, who had struck the front by that point, was inching away. Marketing Mix was bearing down late, but not fast enough to peg back the winner. I'm a Dreamer kept finding more to preserve the victory in a final time of 1:55 1/5 on the good turf, rewarding her backers with mutuels of $14.60, $7.40 and $4.40.
Joviality checked in another three-quarters of a length away in third. German shipper Kapitale finished well for fourth in her first outing for 10 months. Next came Upperline, Up, Romacaca, Mystical Star, Stars to Shine and Aruna.
With this first top-level coup to her credit, I'm a Dreamer sports a 14-5-1-3 record and $574,661 in earnings. The bay was third in the Rosemary Handicap in her 2010 finale, and opened 2011 with a dynamic 4 1/2-length romp in the Dahlia at Newmarket. Unplaced in the Group 2 Windsor Forest and in the Group 1 Falmouth in her next two, she did better when fourth in the Group 1 Sun Chariot, her stepping stone to a near-miss in the E.P. Taylor.
Bred by Sean Murphy in Ireland, I'm a Dreamer is a half-sister to multiple stakes scorer Moudez. They are out of the Sadler's Wells mare Summer Dreams, who is a half-sister to All My Dreams, winner of the Group 1 Deutsches Derby in 1995.