11/05/2011 1:54PM

Churchill: Salty Strike comes up the rail to take Dream Supreme

Barbara D. Livingston
Mike Smith guides Salty Strike to a four-length score in the Dream Supreme.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In a battle of Churchill Downs specialists, Salty Strike proved the queen of the Churchill main track by defeating favored Dancinginherdreams by four lengths in the $87,700 Dream Supreme Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard.

The race was essentially won with a move on the turn under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who sent Salty Strike toward the inside to rally, saving valuable ground.

With the front-runners tired after chasing pacesetting Lady Giacomo through an opening quarter-mile in 21.64 seconds, Salty Strike then quickly picked up the leaders from fifth, and after finding daylight coming into the stretch, drew off as much the best.

“When I jumped to the inside, she picked up like three of four lengths and it gave her a lot of confidence,” Smith said.

In taking the Dream Supreme, Salty Strike scored her fourth victory from five starts under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. She is winless in six races over other racetracks.

Winning trainer Ken McPeek quipped he might have to keep her at Churchill all year given how much the likes the surface.

“She just bounces over it,” McPeek said. “She has from the very first day she every stepped foot on it.”

A 3-year-old daughter of Smart Strike owned by Craig Singer, Salty Strike ($6.60) raced six furlongs over a track rated good in 1:10.10.

Runner-up Dancinginherdreams also rallied up the inside, but was never a threat to Salty Strike, nor were any others. The 16-1 longshot Garnet Crystals ran third, two lengths behind Dancinginherdreams.