04/03/2006 11:00PM

Drop to six good move for 'Dreams'


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The last time Dreamsandvisions moved from seven furlongs to six, he ran the best race of his career. Trainer Steven Duke will be hoping for similar results Thursday, when he makes the same distance move with Dreamsandvisions in an optional claimer at Oaklawn Park.

"That's part of the reason we went in there," Duke said.

The six-furlong race drew a field of six, including the comebacking Pro Prado and Rocky River.

A multiple stakes winner, won the seven-furlong Conroe Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in December, then cut back to six furlongs one start later for the $274,000 Duncan Kenner Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 14. He rallied from 11 lengths back to finish third in the race, three-quarters of a length behind winner Rodeo's Castle and runner-up Beau's Town. Dreamsandvisions earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

"Anywhere between six and seven seems to be ideal, and when I've run him seven and dropped him back, he's always run a big race," said Duke.

Dreamsandvisions last raced at Sam Houston and finished second by a neck in the $40,000 Spring at seven furlongs on March 18. He drew post 2 for Thursday and will be ridden by Luis Quinonez. Dreamsandvisions figures to be coming after Rocky River, and perhaps Bubba Gum, in the later stages of the race.

"Coming out of the turn, I'd like for him to be in third or fourth place, no more than five or six lengths back," Duke said. "We don't try to send him too quick. We try to send him around the quarter pole. He runs down the lane pretty well normally for us. If we've got some horses that will go, we'll be in good shape."

Duke said a goal next month for Dreamsandvisions is the Grade 2, $200,000 Churchill Downs Handicap at seven furlongs on May 6.

last raced in November and was third by 1 3/4 lengths in a money allowance that went in a quick 1:09.60 at Churchill Downs. Before that race, Pro Prado won a money allowance at Keeneland. He shows some nice works for his return. Trainer Bob Holthus has given the mount to John McKee.

worked six furlongs in 1:12 over a good track on March 31 in his final prep for his comeback. Trainer Don Von Hemel has given the mount to Terry Thompson.