07/21/2013 7:03PM

Del Mar: He Be Fire N Ice stays hot on grass in California Dreamin'

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Benoit & Associates
He Be Fire N Ice, under Victor Espinoza, won the California Dreamin' Handicap by a head over Rock Me Baby on Sunday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – He Be Fire N Ice has won four consecutive races on turf since early April. The 5-year-old horse may never run on the main track again after winning his first stakes in Sunday’s $150,750 California Dreamin’ Handicap on grass at Del Mar.

Since he returned to racing in February following an 18-month break caused by a tendon injury, He Be Fire N Ice has won 4 of 5 starts, with each win coming on turf. The California Dreamin’ Handicap, restricted to California-breds, was He Be Fire N Ice’s third consecutive win.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, He Be Fire N Ice ($10.80) closed from sixth in a field of nine to win the California Dreamin’ over 1 1/16 miles by a head over Rock Me Baby. He Be Fire N Ice moved closer to the front with a wide rally on the turn and caught Rock Me Baby in the final sixteenth.

“It looked like there was a ton of speed in there,” trainer John Sadler said. “Our strategy was to get back and put in a run. He’s been going good since I put him on the grass at Santa Anita.”

Starspangled Heat finished third, followed by Holladay Road, Lucky Primo, Summer Hit, Risky Reward, Compari, and Soul Candy. Lucky Primo set an early pace of 23.88 and 47.81 seconds while closely followed by Summer Hit before fading from contention in the stretch.

Summer Hit, the winner of the Grade 3 All American Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in May, was the 9-5 favorite. He was second with a furlong remaining but was beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

He Be Fire N Ice races for Ron and Barbara Perry’s Cicero Farms. By Unusual Heat, He Be Fire N Ice has won 5 of 12 starts and $262,330. He was a maiden winner in 2011 when trained by Ron Ellis before being sidelined by injury.

He Be Fire N Ice’s only loss since being switched to turf at Santa Anita in early April was a seventh in the Tiznow Stakes on the synthetic main track at Betfair Hollywood Park on April 27. He Be Fire N Ice followed with turf wins against open company in an allowance race and an optional claimer at Hollywood in May and June.

Sadler said He Be Fire N Ice might start again before this meeting ends Sept. 4. “I’d like to run him twice at this meeting,” he said.