Dream Bigger has big aspirations in Sunday’s Mike Lee

June 11, 2020

Elmont, N.Y. – Three-time stakes-winner Dream Bigger will look to sustain momentum fresh off a three-month break when he takes on an eight-horse field in Sunday’s $100,000 Mike Lee for New York-bred sophomores going seven furlongs on the main track at Belmont Park.

Dream Bigger has been a consistent challenger for owner Repole Stable, going 3-3-1 in seven starts. The Mission Impazible colt started his sophomore campaign with a third-place effort in the 6 ½-furlong Rego Park on January 12 at Aqueduct Racetrack and dominated over the same track at the Mike Lee distance last out, registering a 7 ¾-length score in the Damon Runyon on March 15.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said Dream Bigger has continued to train forwardly at Palm Beach Downs in Del Ray Beach, Florida, and is in good order after shipping back to New York earlier this week.

“He’s been doing really good in Florida. He came back to me yesterday, but he looks great, and everything was great this morning,” Rodriguez said. “He should be pretty fresh. He’s been working pretty steady at Palm Beach. He looks fit. He looks ready, and his coat looks good.”

Dream Bigger will be making his third career start at seven furlongs, including his first attempt when he ran second by a nose to Bank On Shea in the New York Stallion Stakes Series’ Great White Way on December 14 at the Big A.

“I think it’s a good distance for him, and I think he can go a mile, too,” Rodriguez said. “He’s ready to go. He looks very fit to me right now. He’s a big, strong horse. The more time that he gets, I think the better he’ll get. He’s got the ability and body. Everything is there for him to improve.”

Jose Ortiz will be in the irons from post 4.

Trainer Christophe Clement entered a pair of stakes-winners in City Man and Listentoyourheart. City Man, owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Peter and Patty Searles, won the Funny Cide at 6 1/2 furlongs as a juvenile and followed by running third in the Bertram F. Bongard on September 20.

After back-to-back fourth-place finishes to conclude his 2-year-old year, the son of Mucho Macho Man will make his 2020 debut with Joel Rosario riding from post 2.

His stablemate, Merrylegs Farm’s Listentoyourheart, will be making his first start since September. The Afleet Alex colt, 2-1-1 in five starts last year, will have the services of Junior Alvarado from post 7.

Bourbon Lane Stable’s Bourbon Bay will make his first non-Aqueduct start for trainer Mark Hennig. The Bayern colt, purchased for $205,000 at the 2018 Saratoga Sale, made his first five starts at the Big A, including three as a sophomore.

Bourbon Bay ran second to Independence Hall on New Year’s Day in the one-mile Jerome and earned black type at the same distance, finishing third in the Gander on February 16. Cutting back to seven furlongs, Bourbon Bay was third in the Damon Runyon last out. He will make his fourth consecutive stakes start, drawing post 5 with Jose Lezcano aboard.

Team Hanley’s Captain Bombastic has never finished off the board in five starts [2-2-1], running second in consecutive optional claiming races at Oaklawn Park to start his year. A debut winner in September at Belmont, the son of Forty Tales won the Sleepy Hollow in his subsequent start in October at the same track. Looking to go 3-for-3 at Belmont, the Jeremiah Englehart trainee drew post 6 with Luis Saez set to ride.

Chad Brown will also saddle two in the Mike Lee, led by Wise Racing’s Gandy Dancing, a debut winner on March 15 at Aqueduct. A $210,000 purchase at the 2018 Saratoga Sale, Gandy Dancing bested an eight-horse field by 6 ¾ lengths at six furlongs three months ago and will take a step up in class. Manny Franco has the call from post 3.

Our Sugar Bear Stable’s Mission Wrapitup will return to stakes company for the first time in four starts for. His best finish in a stakes came in a runner-up effort in the Aspirant in September at Finger Lakes. Eric Cancel will guide Mission Wrapitup from the inside post.

Three Jokers, conditioned by John Terranova, enters off a fifth-place finish in the Sleepy Hollow. He ran second to Cleon Jones in the Bertram F. Bongard in September and will make his 2020 bow on Saturday, drawing post 8 with Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano.

Slated as Race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race card, which offers a first post of 1:15 p.m. Eastern, the Mike Lee will feature on America’s Day at the Races, produced by NYRA in partnership with FOX Sports, and airing live on FOX Sports and MSG+. Free Equibase-provided past performances are available for races that are part of the broadcast and can be accessed at www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the best way to bet the 2020 Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Available to customers across the United States, NYRA Bets allows horseplayers to watch and wager on racing from tracks around the world at any time. The NYRA Bets app is available for download for iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

Press Release

Photo: Dream Bigger. Credit: NYRA- Elsa Lorieul

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