04/05/2005 11:00PM

Dream of Summer makes first road trip

Benoit & Associates
The California Cup Matron was part of a five-race win streak for Dream of Summer.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Dream of Summer has always stepped up to new challenges. She did not race until she was a 4-year-old, but won her debut. A few starts later, Dream of Summer began a five-race win streak, including her stakes debut in the Grade 2, $150,000 A Gleam Handicap.

Saturday, Dream of Summer will face the biggest challenge of her career when she takes on champion Ashado and Island Fashion in the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap.

"It's her first time to go outside of California," said Juan Garcia, who trains Dream of Summer for her breeder, James Weigel. "The race, it fit the filly. She's ready to go."

Dream of Summer stepped up into Grade 1 company for the first time last out and ran a huge race to finish second by a nose to Tarlow in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita on March 12.

"She ran game," said Garcia.

Garcia said Dream of Summer got her nose in front right before the wire, lost the bob in her next stride, then was back in front one jump after the wire.

Dream of Summer did not start her career until June 2003, with Weigel giving her all the time she needed to get over some small problems, said Garcia. She began her win streak in October of the same year, when she won two allowances before stepping up in the 2004 running of the A Gleam and earning a career-best Beyer of 107.

One start later, she won a Grade 3 stakes, then the California Cup Matron over Yearly Report.

Dream of Summer will be prominent early in the Apple Blossom and, according to Garcia, will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela. She was to fly to Oaklawn on Thursday.

The Apple Blossom will share a card with the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap, and the races will be linked by a special double, said Terry Wallace, announcer at Oaklawn.

Ashado and Eddington in the house

Ashado and Eddington, the favorites and highweights for the Apple Blossom and Oaklawn Handicap, respectively, both arrived Wednesday morning aboard a flight that originated in Florida, traveled to Kentucky, and landed in Hot Springs at about 10 a.m. Central.

Also on board were Limehouse, Second of June, and Grand Reward for the Oaklawn Handicap, and Shadow Cast for the Apple Blossom, according to officials with Oaklawn.

Drysdale maiden points for Arkansas Derby

Canteen, a talented colt who was disqualified from his maiden win at Santa Anita for interference last time out, is being pointed for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 16, his trainer, Neil Drysdale, confirmed Tuesday.

Canteen was making his two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile maiden race on March 5. He got up to win by a nose, then was disqualified for interference.

Canteen is a son of Fusaichi Pegasus out of the mare Bottle Top, making him a half-brother to Strodes Creek. Drysdale won the Kentucky Derby with Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, and Strodes Creek ran second in the Kentucky Derby in 1994.

Rockport Harbor might work Sunday

Rockport Harbor jogged a mile Wednesday, his first day back to the track after a blood clot in the vein of his neck revealed itself last Saturday. He could work on Sunday, according to his trainer, John Servis.

"We're going to try to do something on Sunday," he said. "It will be a 'where are we at' work."

Rockport Harbor is being pointed for the Arkansas Derby, but if he is unable to make the race, he will instead be aimed for the Grade 2, $325,000 Coolmore Lexington a week later at Keeneland. His spring goal remains the Kentucky Derby.

Servis to address state's breeders, horsemen

Servis won the Kentucky Derby last year with Smarty Jones, and the experience will be one of the things he will recount in a speech at the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders' and Horsemen's Association banquet Saturday night at the Austin Hotel in Hot Springs.

"I'll talk about growing up in a small town and getting the opportunity to win the Kentucky Derby," he said. "Kind of how everybody has a chance."

Chindi could break $1 million

Chindi, who is closing in on $1 million in earnings, will start in Friday's 10th race, a $36,000 allowance. The 11-year-old, who has earned $997,238, won an allowance on Feb. 5 in his last start.

He is not, however, the oldest winner at the meet. That honor belongs to the 12-year-old Timber Ack.

* Real Dandy, being pointed for the Arkansas Derby by trainer Steve Asmussen, breezed six furlongs in company with Jazzy Gallop on Wednesday morning. The horses finished on even terms, getting the distance in a bullet 1:16. Asmussen said Jazzy Gallop is being pointed for the $75,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn on April 16.

- additional reporting by David Grening