07/07/2007 12:00AM

Dream Rush sails home


ELMONT, N.Y. - The disappointment of last month's Grade 1 Acorn is a distant memory now for the connections of Dream Rush.

On Saturday, Dream Rush became a Grade 1 winner with a solid 2 1/4-length victory over longshot Graeme Six in the $250,000 Prioress before 13,448 on Cooler Bag Giveaway Day at Belmont Park. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Silver Knockers in third.

Dream Rush, who had won a pair of graded stakes earlier this year, finished second to Cotton Blossom as the 3-5 favorite in the Acorn here on Belmont Stakes Day. On paper, she towered over her eight rivals in the Prioress, but trainer Rick Violette feared his filly getting hooked in a speed duel.

Breaking from the outside post under Eibar Coa, Dream Rush dueled outside of Ticket to Seattle through an opening quarter in 22.13 seconds. Dream Rush opened up a clear advantage after running a second quarter in 22.58 seconds, and came into the stretch without having been asked to run. Coa shook her up at the three-sixteenths pole and resorted to the whip late to ensure the victory.

Dream Rush, a daughter of Wild Rush, covered the six furlongs in 1:09.02 and returned $3.30 as the favorite.

"I didn't want to take the lead too early, but she was just much the best and she just took me there. I didn't want to fight her," said Coa, who won three races on the day. "She might have got a little bit tired at the end."

The victory capped a terrific week for trainer Rick Violette and the West Point Stable, which teamed to win Wednesday's Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap with High Finance.

"As much as she was 3-5 this was kind of a weird race with so much speed," Violette said. "She's just a fast filly . . . if you hook her you're in trouble, if you don't hook her everybody's in trouble."

Violette said he plans to point Dream Rush to the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

* Dance Away Capote ($38.40) made a smashing turf debut, rallying from last along the rail under Alan Garcia to accelerate to a 1o1/2-length victory over favored Fantastic Shirl in the $77,000 Duda Stakes. Dance Away Capote, a daughter of Capote owned by Robert Evans and trained by Barclay Tagg, covered 1o1/16 miles over a good inner turf course in 1:43.98.

* Junkanoo Party ($32.20) rallied from last under Jean-Luc Samyn to win the $78,500 Crockadore Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over the pacesetting Storm Dixie. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Charlton Baker, Junkanoo Party covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.08.