07/21/2017 6:40PM

Dream It Is crushes Schuylerville field in dirt debut

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dream It Is romped by nine lengths in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on opening day at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Dream It Is transferred her excellent synthetic surface form to the dirt and crushed a seemingly evenly-matched field of 2-year-old fillies by nine lengths in Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes on opening day at Saratoga.

Best Performance rallied from well off the pace to be second by four lengths over Stainless. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Snowfire, the 2-1 favorite. She was followed, in order, by Buy Sell Hold, Pacific Gale, Laudation and Mel’s Gone Wild. Limited View was scratched after acting up in the paddock to the point where she couldn’t be saddled.

Dream It Is gave Woodbine-based trainer Barbara Minshall her first victory with her fourth starter at Saratoga. She hadn’t run a horse here since 1999 when Mt. Sassafras finished seventh in the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup.

“It was amazing, she’s a star,” Minshall said. “She’s a dream.”

Dream It Is, a daughter of Shackleford, was purchased for $50,000 by the partnership of Greg Hudson and his two sons Andrew and David who race under the moniker Hoolie Racing Stable. It was Andrew Hudson who recommended shipping Dream It Is to Saratoga following two victories at Woodbine including a 4 3/4-length score in the Victoria Stakes.

“There was no race in Canada for her, I felt really confident she could compete up here and getting up here and seeing that kind of performance was unreal,” he said.

Under Luis Contreras, Dream It Is broke on top, but was soon joined on the lead by Mel’s Gone Wild, Buy Sell Hold and Pacific Gale. The latter was taken back and Dream It Is was third, three-wide but just off the pace and in hand after an opening quarter mile in 21.99 seconds.

Entering the far turn, Mel’s Gone Wild retreated and Dream It Is was in second, and was within a head of Buy Sell Hold through a half-mile in 46.22 seconds.

With a confident Contreras looking behind him, Dream It Is took the lead straightening away in the lane. Despite racing on her left lead the length of the stretch, Dream It Is only widened her advantage while lugging in a bit.

Dream It Is covered six furlongs in 1:11.85 and returned $11 as the 9-2 fourth choice.

Though Dream It Is hadn’t raced on dirt before, she had been training over Woodbine’s dirt training track.

“I was very confident with her today,” Contreras said. “Her first couple of races she got a lot of speed, she wants to go quick early. Today, she was nice and relaxed. I was just waiting. By the time I let her go, she just made her move and opened up.”

Minshall said that Dream It Is raced on her left lead in both of her Woodbine races.

“She’ll [change] in the morning like clockwork,” Minshall said. “When she gets running fast, it’s like ‘Oh, I forgot. Why bother?’ ”

Dream It Is will return to Woodbine and Minshall and her owners will discuss whether to come back for a race like the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sept. 2.