10/11/2006 12:00AM

Duke got a lot for $2,500


Dreamsandvisions is a prime contender for Saturday's Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at Retama Park.P

Dreamsandvisions, a $2,500 purchase who has earned $304,481, will start as one of the favorites Saturday night in the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at Retama Park. The 1 1/16-mile turf race is one of six restricted stakes on a card worth more than $500,000.

Prior to the races, the newest members of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will be inducted. Honorees are Texas horsemen Hilmer and Faye Schmidt and Jerry Windham, and the late politician Robert Johnson Sr.

Dreamsandvisions vanned from his Louisiana Downs base to Retama on Wednesday. He is looking for his third stakes win of the year in the Hall of Fame, following victories in the $150,000 Evangeline Mile in August, and the $75,000 Assault for Texas-breds in July.

It is a big resume for a small gelding, who was purchased as an unraced 2-year-old.

"He was kind of just staring at us when we went to look at him," said Steven Duke, who trains Dreamsandvisions for his wife, Sandra. "And he had about a half an inch of white around his eye, and an old-timer told me one time that those horses had a lot of heart. I don't know if that's true or not, but that was kind of part of the reason I bought him.

"He's certainly not a big horse, but he does have a big heart."

Dreamsandvisions, who has a serious closing kick, has a name that was inspired by verses from two different books in the Bible. He has been a special horse for the Dukes - just the second Thoroughbred the couple, who live in Bloomburg, Texas, has ever owned, said Steven Duke.

"It's like winning the lottery," he said. "You're not supposed to get these. You know, some people never get them. They're a once-in-a-lifetime horse. I got mine pretty early."

Luis Quinonez has the mount in the Hall of Fame.