06/22/2010 11:00PM

Bruce's Dream returns on grass

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The 2009 campaign ended too soon for Bruce's Dream.

He made his stakes debut last fall, finishing a fast-closing third to California Flag in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita. While California Flag went on to win the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in early November, Bruce's Dream was sidelined with sore shins.

Bruce's Dream returns from a layoff of nearly nine months in a $46,000 allowance race over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on Friday. The promise that Bruce's Dream has shown, winning 3 of 4 starts, has given owner-breeder Bruce Corwin and trainer Mike Puype high expectations for 2010.

"We'd like to see him run well," Puype said. "I thought it was important to get a race into him before Del Mar."

Bruce's Dream, a 4-year-old gelding by Atticus, has drawn the outside in a field of six. Puype expects Bruce's Dream to be a factor from off the pace, chasing likely pacesetter Sky Victor.

"He's got a brilliant turn of foot," Puype said. "He was third in a graded stakes as a 3-year-old against older horses. He comes with his problems, obviously. He had sore shins all along."

Bruce's Dream won a maiden race for statebreds in October 2008, his only start that year. In two starts at Del Mar last summer, Bruce's Dream was unbeaten in two five-furlong turf races.

Sprints are not Puype's only focus for the second half of 2010 with Bruce's Dream.

"I'd like to think I can get him in a mile turf race eventually," he said. "I'd like to think I could be the favorite in the Cal Cup Mile."

Friday's field includes three horses who won their last starts -- Brady Blue Eyes, Afleet Ruler, and Sky Victor.

Afleet Ruler won a first-level allowance race here May 15 but has yet to win on turf. Sky Victor won two turf sprints last fall and has not started since November. Brady Blue Eyes won an optional claimer over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on Jan. 17 in his most recent start.