10/28/2010 1:44PM

Bruce's Dream a sentimental favorite in California Cup Mile

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. − Sentimentally, it was a great idea. Realistically, the spur-of-the-moment idea to claim Remember Dorothy at Del Mar in 2000 looked iffy. Who really needs a 2-year-old filly who was a well-beaten fourth and fifth in her first two starts and was dropping in for a $32,000 price for the first time?

For Bruce Corwin and his son, David, that was not a factor. Less than two weeks earlier, Bruce’s mother, Dorothy, had died, and they had found a filly who, by coincidence, had the perfect name.

“We claimed her strictly based on her name,” David Corwin said earlier this week.

Remember Dorothy was claimed that day by Jack Carava and Corwin family friend Billy Koch in a five-way shake. She was lost via claim four races later and then bought back by the Corwins after her racing career ended three years later.

Remember Dorothy became a broodmare and has since become the foundation of a successful tiny stable. She produced Bruce’s Dream, the winner of the California Dreamin’ Handicap at Del Mar this summer and a contender in Saturday’s $100,000 California Cup Mile at Hollywood Park.

The father and son will be there for the race with their families. The Corwins, it turns out, tend to do a lot of things together, generation after generation.

Bruce Corwin, 70, is the chief executive of Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Theatres, which has locations in four states and British Columbia. David, the company president, is the fourth generation of Corwins to lead the company since it was formed in 1923.

Racing has been part of the Corwin fabric for almost 50 years. In a partnership, Bruce Corwin’s parents raced Sledge, a stakes winner at Fairplex Park in the early 1960’s. Today, David Corwin, 41, is as likely to call trainer Mike Puype for updates on Bruce’s Dream as his father is.

“It means so much for me to watch David and how much fun he gets out of it,” Bruce Corwin said earlier this week. “It’s another generational thing.”

Bruce’s Dream, by Atticus, has won 5 of 7 starts and $233,940. He is Remember Dorothy’s second foal and was bred by Bruce Corwin at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, Calif. The first foal is Dee Dee’s Legacy, a winner of 3 of 10 starts and $89,342 who won two cheap claiming races earlier this year.

Remember Dorothy has a yearling gelding by Cee’s Tizzy and is carrying a foal by the Kentucky-based stallion Thewayyouare. The 2011 mating has not been planned, though David Corwin will start studying soon.

“I haven’t given it too much thought,” he said. “I’m so far from an expert. I love the analysis, but I don’t pretend to know too much.”

The Corwins seem to have done just fine with the mating of Remember Dorothy to Atticus. Bruce’s Dream battled soundness problems early in his career but still won his first three starts at 2 and 3. He lost for the first time when third to eventual Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag in the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at Santa Anita in September 2009 and was sidelined until late June because of sore shins.

Bruce’s Dream won a six-furlong allowance race on turf at Hollywood Park on June 25 in his first start of the year and won his first start around two turns in the California Dreamin’, closing from fifth to finish a head in front of Colgan’s Chip. From the grandstand, Bruce Corwin did not think Bruce’s Dream had won.

“We thought we were nipped at the wire,” he said.

Bruce’s Dream followed that performance with a third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on turf Aug. 28, when he was beaten a length by Enriched. David Corwin said it was a frustrating race for him because he thought Bruce’s Dream could have won with a better trip.

“We were trapped on the rail, and we never got a chance to run,” he said.

Saturday’s race will test Bruce’s Dream. Colgan’s Chip is part of the field as is Liberian Freighter, the winner of the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile on Oct. 9. A victory by Bruce’s Dream could lead to a start in the Grade 1 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in late November.

“We really think he’s capable of more,” David Corwin said. “We take it one race at a time, but if we were to run big we want to see what he’s capable of.”

The Corwins will arrive at Hollywood Park on Saturday. In 2004, they were partners in Little Red Feather racing when the syndicate won the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Lone Star Park with Singletary.

“Words can’t describe what that day was like,” David Corwin said. “It was incredible.”

A win Saturday would not be as valuable. Sentimentally, it will be worth much more.