10/06/2012 7:14PM

Belmont: Dreaming of Julia has to work hard to take Frizette

Barbara D. Livingston
Dreaming of Julia (foreground) edges My Happy Face in the Frizette for 2-year-old fillies.

ELMONT, N.Y. - What was supposed to be a mismatch in the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette, turned into a match race that ultimately went to the favorite, Dreaming of Julia.

 Seemingly poised to go by My Happy Face in midstretch, Dreaming of Julia had to withstand a fight through the final furlong, prevailing by a short head over a stubborn My Happy Face at Belmont Park. It was 10 3/4 lengths back to Toasting. Nancy O was last.

 The start of the race was delayed by 13 minutes when longshot Roveing Patrol got caught under the gate and was scratched. She was uninjured. Also scratched was Sweet Shirley Mae, who appeared to have been kicked by Roveing Patrol.

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 With Roveing Patrol out, that left My Happy Face as the primary speed. Knowing that, John Velazquez, the rider of Dreaming of Julia, had to put his filly into the race earlier than he had originally planned.

 “I couldn’t let that horse go on the lead all by herself. I had to put the pressure more than I wanted to,” Velazquez said.

 My Happy Face, coming off a 21 1/4-length maiden win at Saratoga, set the pace under Ramon Dominguez while Velazquez had Dreaming of Julia right off her flank through a half-mile in 46.19 seconds.

Dreaming of Julia, the 1-9 favorite based on winning her first two starts by a combined 26 3/4 lengths, crept alongside around the far turn. She poked a head in front turning for home and most expected her to open up But My Happy Face fought back and gave way grudgingly while being stuck in tight along the rail.

 Dreaming of Julia, a daughter of A.P. Indy owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the mile in 1:37.10 and returned $2.30.

 “I thought we had her. To the other filly’s credit, she fought hard. It was a good horse race,” Pletcher said.

 Dominguez said in addition to Velazquez tightening things up on My Happy Face, his filly was attempting to lug out a little bit.

 “There was no way to hit her left-handed and even hitting her right-handed I had to just hit a couple of times on the shoulder because I couldn’t reach back,” Dominguez said. “Ideally if I had a little more room to work with maybe she gets a little breather, but no complaints she ran a great race I thought.

 For the first time in three starts, Velazquez used his whip on Dreaming of Julia, but said “she didn’t like it.”

 Dreaming of Julia earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and will most likely be pointed to that race, Pletcher said.

 Michael Dubb, the owner of My Happy Face, said his filly would likely skip the Breeders’ Cup.

“I think we gutted this filly today,” Dubb said. “I want to do right by her. We’ll see what the horse tell us but it’s a little hard off a race like that to think you want to run a 2-year-old back in four weeks, cross-country. I’d love to do it, but I want to do right by this filly. She’s special.”