Fun to Dream out for a gallop in October. Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire
DEL MAR, Calip.—The gray filly Fun to Dream might have been licking her figurative chops down at trainer Bob Baffert’s barn when they told her about her upcoming tilt this Sunday. They said we’ve got you a nice seven-panel sprint against California-bred fillies; kind of like the Fleet Treat Stakes you won at Del Mar back in July, the one you took by almost 10 lengths. Piece of cake.
Gottcha, the daughter of champion Arrogate said, sounds like it might be fun. How many do I have to beat, she asked? Only four others, came the reply. The cake, it seems, was getting sweeter.
Have you got me a good rider? Sure, your regular guy, the one that’s ridden you in all four of your previous starts – Juan Hernandez. You know, the guy that was Del Mar’s riding champ in the summer by about as far as you can throw a rock. Ah, yes, he and I are pals; we do good together.
Do I get to run for any kind of money? How about $100K? Yes, yes, not bad, not bad at all. Sign me up, boss. I’ve got three good recent works under my belt and I’m feeling good. Fun indeed.
The 27th edition of the race formerly known as the Cat’s Cradle Stakes, now called the Betty Grable Stakes, has drawn a short field of California-bred distaffers headed by Jill Baffert and Connie Pageler’s homebred Fun to Dream. She’s won three of her four outings and has been a short price in each of those affairs. She looms a very short price again Sunday in the day’s feature.
Here’s the field for the stakes from the rail out with riders: Jennifer Saavedra’s Roman Empress (Drayden Van Dyke in the irons); Harris Farms’ All Dialed In (Tyler Baze); Fun to Dream; George Krikorian’s Big Novel (Flavien Prat), and Mia Familia Racing Stable’s Taming the Tigress (Ramon Vazquez).
The big danger to “Fun” might come by way of Big Novel, also a homebred gray, though she’s by the sire Mr. Big. She was stakes placed twice at Del Mar last year as a juvenile and has been stakes placed twice this year at Santa Anita. But the key element for her might be the fact that ace rider Prat has returned from the east for the fall Del Mar session and he’s the fellow who has won the Betty Grable the last five years in a row. John Sadler trains the 3-year-old lassie.
Taming the Tigress has won six of her 16 starts, though she’s primarily been pitched against lesser company. The 4-year-old is by Smiling Tiger.
All Dialed In, by Dialed In, was well beaten against similar company on the turf in her last out, August 21 on the grass at Del Mar.
Roman Empress has been laboring in the claiming ranks of late and is taking a big step up here.
First post Sunday will be the usual 12:30 p.m. The Betty Grable, which goes as Race 8 on the nine-race card, should have a post time of approximately 4 p.m.