01/13/2011 2:33PM

Dancinginherdreams works bullet in prep for Forward Gal

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Barbara D. Livingston
The 3-year-old filly Dancinginherdreams will try to give Lexington native John Ward Jr. his first Grade 1 win at Keeneland in the Ashland.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Dancinginherdreams isn’t among the finalists for an Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old filly division at Monday night’s ceremonies to be held just down the road from Gulfstream Park on Miami Beach. But her name is surely near or even at the top on many experts’ lists of 3-year-old filly prospects coming into the 2011 campaign.

Dancinginherdreams ran just twice at 2, registering a pair of one sided, come-from-behind victories that have everybody eagerly awaiting her 3-year-old debut on Jan. 30 in the seven-furlong Forward Gal. Trained by John Ward for his principal owner John Oxley, Dancinginherdreams is stabled this winter at the Palm Meadows training center, where she has turned in four sharp works, including a bullet five-eighths in 59.00 seconds on Wednesday under regular rider Julien Leparoux.

“She really did work well yesterday,” Ward said after training hours on Thursday. “Julien said she really had her mind on her business. She came out of the work great and we’re still on line for the Forward Gal.

Ward pinpointed the Grade 3 Forward Gal for Dancinginherdreams’s 3-year-old bow almost from the time she walked into the winner’s circle following her 5 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2, one-mile Pocahontas on Oct. 31 at Churchill Downs.

“This filly has shown she’s got the talent right from the start so I went ahead and mapped out a schedule for her and so far we’re still on it,” said Ward.

If all goes well in the Forward Gal, that schedule also includes the one-mile, Grade 2 Davona Dale here on Feb. 26 and one more start prior to the Kentucky Oaks, either the nine-furlong, Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks here April 2 or the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland the following weekend.

“Julien says going two turns with this filly isn’t a concern for him and it’s not a concern for me,” said Ward. “Her final prep before the Oaks will all depend on how she looks and is doing at the time. One is four weeks from the Oaks, the other five. That’s essentially what it comes down to.”

Ward, who has traditionally been stabled at Gulfstream, is spending his first winter at Palm Meadows, where he has six horses currently bedded down, five 3-year-olds and the veteran Dr. Pleasure, whom he said he plans to run on the turf in about 30 days.