12/03/2012 4:45PM

Aqueduct: Dreaming of Cara gets some class relief in turf allowance

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Tom Keyser
Dreaming of Cara will face more modest competition as she drops in class for a first-level allowance.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Blessed mostly by nice weather since Hurricane Sandy and a subsequent nor’easter that hit the New York area five weeks ago, Aqueduct has been able to offer turf racing even as December begins.

The fields have certainly thinned out some, which is good news for trainer Mitch Friedman and his New York-bred 3-year-old filly Dreaming of Cara who faces modest competition in Wednesday’s $69,000 first-level allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles.

Since winning three of her first four starts to begin the year – two on the inner dirt track and one on turf – Dreaming of Cara has lost nine straight. However, she has been facing the likes of Better Lucky, Hessonite, and Shakeira in a majority of those spots. This field does not include any horses of that caliber.

“I was wishing I’d catch that type of field all summer long,” Friedman said. “It came up like a spot she can be a factor in. I’m excited to run her.”

In her last start, Dreaming of Cara finished fifth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Shakeira.

“I’m not going to make an excuse,” Friedman said. “She was reaching out, trying hard. She could have used a little more pace, maybe.”

She should get some more pace Wednesday with Hunter Forward and shippers Laila Dundee, My Lil’ Red Rodeo, and Stormy n’ Sly in the field.

The horse to beat is Lady’s Lunar Luck, who has won her last two starts and who is 3 for 4 lifetime over Aqueduct’s turf course.

“She looks pretty good in that spot,” trainer John Kimmel said. “That filly has done very well since she’s come to the barn. As long as the race stays on turf, we’ll be in good shape. She’s doing well, so I expect another good run out of her.”

One race later, in a 6 1/2-furlong optional claiming race on dirt, Fiftyfour Forever runs back just six days after winning an optional claimer by 1 3/4 lengths under a hand ride from jockey Javier Castellano.

Trainer Anthony Quartarolo said his filly “came out of the last race terrific. [Castellano] said enter her, he never asked her to run. If I thought the race took something out of her, I wouldn’t run her.”

Fiftyfour Forever, who will be ridden by Wilmer Garcia, is cutting back from a mile to 6 1/2 furlongs.

“I like the cutback, she’ll sit right off the pace,” Quartarolo said. “Everybody thinks she’s a front-runner, but she can sit, and there looks to be plenty of speed in there.”

Roman Renegade, a horse who has finished second in 11 of 31 starts, looms an off-the-pace threat.

Trainer Chris Englehart has the coupled entry of Royal Sighting and E Z Passer entered, but both could scratch. Royal Sighting is entered back on Thursday, while E Z Passer finished last in a race here Friday.

Nicholas Briglia More than 1 year ago
There is nothing wrong with racing at Aqueduct in the winter. It is still very high quality compared to most tracks in the country. Have you seen some of the fields at Fair Grounds? Hollywood synth racing in awful. Even Gulfstream, although they run some very good races, also run some quite awful ones too. How about Zia Park? Mountaineer? Golden Gate? Where is all this great racing? New York racing is as good if not better than anywhere in the country.
METS More than 1 year ago
Gives us all a reality check on the quality, or lack of same of racing in NY in the winter.