09/07/2012 4:36PM

Belmont Park: Dreaming of Julia in important prep

Barbara D. Livingston
Dreaming of Julia could wind up in the Grade 1 Frizette if she wins Sunday’s Meadow Star.

ELMONT, N.Y. – It is not as prestigious as the Grade 1 Spinaway, but Sunday’s $80,000 Meadow Star Stakes at Belmont Park could be the path to more prestigious prizes this fall for Dreaming of Julia.

Scratched from last Sunday’s Spinaway so that she wouldn’t run against her stablemate Teen Pauline, Dreaming of Julia figures a heavy favorite against four opponents in the Meadow Star, a one-turn mile race that could lead the winner to the Grade 1 Frizette here on Oct. 6.

Dreaming of Julia, a Stonestreet Stable homebred daughter of A.P Indy and named for owner Barbara Banke’s daughter, won her debut by 10 1/2 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 6. She raced on the lead throughout under John Velazquez and covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.48 while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 76.

“She had trained very well and very professionally, was good from the gate, showed tactical speed for a filly that’s bred to go longer,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “We fully anticipated that she would run well, and she did that or exceeded our expectations.”

Stonestreet entered both Teen Pauline and Dreaming of Julia in the Spinaway. It went with Teen Pauline, who had set a track record for five furlongs in her debut, but she finished third as the 3-5 favorite behind So Many Ways. Though he lost out on a potential shot at a Grade 1, Pletcher doesn’t mind the more conservative route for Dreaming of Julia.

“She’s a young filly that we anticipate improving with distance and time, so maybe a more conservative route would be better for her,” Pletcher said.

Dreaming of Julia drew post 2 in the Meadow Star. Her main competition would seemingly come from Fully Living, third to the Pletcher-trained, Stonestreet-owned Kauai Katie in the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga on Aug. 12, and Amethyst, a 3 3/4-length maiden winner at Parx on Aug. 18.