07/03/2006 11:00PM

Arlington: Nicole's Dream right at home

Benoit Photo
Nicole's Dream wins the $42,000 Smile Stakes on July 4th at Arlington Park.

Set the starting gate about five furlongs from the finish line on the Arlington Park turf course, and you've entered Nicole's Dream's house. She won the $42,000 Smile Stakes at Arlington with speed to spare, and after 11 starts here, Nicole's Dream has a resume showing 9 victories and 1 second-place finish.

Nicole's Dream, 6 and still going strong, beat males in the Smile, but most of the time, it doesn't matter what she's facing. Nicole's Dream now has won a remarkable 18 of 33 grass races, and overall is 22 for 47 in five different seasons of racing.

Jump for Joyeaux was sent to the lead Tuesday, with jockey E.T. Baird and Nicole's Dream settling right behind her.

"I could've gone to the lead if I wanted to," Baird said.

But Nicole's Dream, once a little speed-crazy, settled nicely, and when Baird gave her the cue at the top of the stretch, she waved her tail goodbye to Jump for Joyeaux - and the rest of the field. Geared down late, she won by two lengths over Rockhurts, with Danieltown far behind in third. Nicole's Dream paid $4.40 to win, and was timed in 57.32 seconds over a good turf course.