03/30/2013 4:54PM

Gulfstream Oaks turns into runaway for Dreaming of Julia

Michael Amoruso
Dreaming of Julia, John Velazquez sitting still, widens to a 21 3/4-length win in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The Dreaming of Julia who was so dominant in winning the first two starts of her career resurfaced Saturday at Gulfstream Park with a jaw-dropping 21 3/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks, stamping her as one of the favorites for the Kentucky Oaks.

Stalking the pacesetter Live Lively - who defeated Dreaming of Julia in the Davona Dale here in February - Dreaming of Julia eased past that rival leaving the three-furlong pole then widened her margin at will through the stretch with jockey John Velazquez barely asking her to run.

Dreaming of Julia, a Stonestreet Stables homebred daughter of Grade 1 winners A.P. Indy and Dream Rush, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.97 and returned $5.20 as the 8-5 favorite.

Live Lively was second by four lengths over Cue the Moon. Kimberly Jean, Emollient and Original Script completed the order of finish.

The win was the fourth from six starts for Dreaming of Julia, who won her debut at Saratoga by 10 1/2 last August and the Meadow Star Stakes by 16 1/4 at Belmont in September. She also showed guts winning the Grade 1 Frizette by a head over My Happy Face in October.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he was expecting Dreaming of Julia to improve off the Davona Dale, where she was beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Live Lively, but even the five-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer was taken aback.

“I think Live Lively was very good last time," Pletcher said. "I had a lot of respect for her coming in. Emollient is a good filly, seen her run really well. I would have never expected a dominant performance like that. That was pretty impressive.”

Pletcher said he instructed Velazquez not to worry if Live Lively got loose on the lead, but he was happy to see Dreaming of Julia relatively close to Live Lively, who ran fractions of 23.43 seconds for the quarter and 47.18 for the half-mile.

Velazquez said he bided his time before asking Dreaming of Julia to go after Live Lively and was a little worried that his filly made the lead so soon.

“Very impressive,” Velazquez said. “She definitely needed the race last time out. She looked like she was gaining to her last time, this time I put the pressure on a little bit early and she was instantly right there. She was stronger this race. We expected that out of her. I didn’t think she’d get away that easy down the lane, but she did it.”

Pletcher said that in “the old days” he might have considered pointing Dreaming of Julia to the Kentucky Derby, but noted the new points system excludes fillies from running in that race unless they race against males in certain stakes that offered qualifying points.

Dreaming of Julia earned 100 qualifying points for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Whoa, Julia! That win was eye-popping, sweetie! To say I am impressed with that display of greatness is an understatement! That Dreaming of Julia will not be able to advance to the 2013 Kentucky Derby after that performance is heartbreaking. Dreaming of Julia is the first horse to be hurt in a major way by the disparity of the KY Derby Points System. This filly is definitely good enough to take on the boys. Congratulations to Dreaming of Julia for an INCREDIBLE, DOMINANT win. Just jaw-dropping! Congratulations to Todd Pletcher and Stonestreet Stables, as well. Breathtaking win!
Jesse Meenaghan More than 1 year ago
Ridiculous! It's all about money and if enough people push they will find a way. It would be a ratings bonanza
Larry Goren More than 1 year ago
everyone knew the rules going in and no one changed the prep races. KY derby is as much of a open race as when it took x amount of dollars to enter the race. you could always have the top 20 beyers and then argue over the running surfaces, pace, distance, and competition. there is and never will be a "perfect" system in this day of a twenty horse must for the field.
Senor Enrico More than 1 year ago
114 Beyer number. This is why the Derby point system is a looser. This horse can't run in the Derby. The Kentucky Derby should not dictate where horses prep. Its an open race and any horse in the world should be elibigle to run. Sooner or later there will be a filly or foreign horse that is the next champ and cant run. A 114 Beyer in March by a 3YO filly is historical. The Derby should be open to all horses and selection should be by route graded stakes earnings.
Jason Kassa More than 1 year ago
They should have entered the Florida Derby with this filly. Everyone knows the point system and her handlers failed to enter her in 3yo prep worth derby points. No way the system can be blamed. At any rate what a nice performance. Hope to see her run back to this race many times.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Jason, no one is "blaming" the system. It is just that the new system excludes a very well bred filly that proved she does belong in the race and CDI, fans lose out. Most trainers would have run her where Pletcher did yesterday after she lost last two outs, no one was expecting that performance, and NOW it is too late for 20/20 hindsight or another hard prep. That's all.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Beat ORB's time by well over a second -- eased up the last 70 yards. CDI failed to allow for this !
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
6 furlongs in a 1:11 is not running your eyebals out. Just like Rachel ??? Maybe
Joel Dubow More than 1 year ago
Sex discrimination suit, anyone?
Ian Salon More than 1 year ago
Maybe she loves Gulfstream. Maybe she just ran her eyeballs out and will never do that again. Either way she has earned her shot at the Kentucky Derby after running 10 lengths faster than Orb. That race looked reminiscent of Rachel!!
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
EightBelles would've been excluded from the Derby because she didn't prep against the boys. But just because they don't prep against doesn't mean they won't run good against them come Derby day. Rip to a good filly but you won't see fillies this good in the Derby till they tweak it for fillies.
Jason Kassa More than 1 year ago
The 3yo derby preps are NOT restricted to colts !
B More than 1 year ago
I don't think anyone is listening, Jason.