Updated on 09/15/2011 12:25PM

Happy tale of Dream Supreme


ELMONT, N.Y. - Winning two Grade 1 stakes last summer at the high-performance Saratoga meeting, Dream Supreme enjoyed a highly successful 3-year-old campaign. Judging by her last start, when she raced seven furlongs in 1:20.60 at Churchill Downs on Derby Day to make light work of the Humana Distaff Handicap, she hasn't lost a step at 4.

Granted, the Louisville track was unusually rapid on Derby Day, but Dream Supreme's performance was sharp. She will probably be meeting better fillies on Saturday in the $100,000 Vagrancy Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs, but her credentials have been stamped "special" for some time. We expect her to add to her reputation in the Vagrancy, and trainer Bill Mott cautiously agrees she is coming to her race the right way.

"She has matured physically," Mott said the other day. "She's filled out and is making a particularly good appearance right now. I think she looks better than she has all spring, even for her race in Kentucky."

The homebred Dream Supreme, owned by George Steinbrenner, is by Seeking the Gold out of Spinning Round, a Dixieland Band mare who won Grade 1 stakes and earned almost $640,000. Unfortunately, Spinning Round was killed by lightning in August 1999, but Steinbrenner has her good daughter and is not likely to let her get away, even in return for a pitcher or a long-ball-hitting outfielder

In her time, Vagrancy, whose memory is honored by Saturday's stakes, enjoyed considerable status.

A foal of 1939, the dark bay daughter of Sir Gallahad III was owned and bred by the Bel Air Stud of William Woodward, Chairman of The Jockey Club, and was trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons.

Vagrancy wasn't very effective at 2 when competing at six furlongs, but in the fall of that year, when the distances stretched out, she began to show promise. She became a star at 3, in an extraordinary campaign of 21 starts. Freshened over the winter, she resumed racing April 15 at Jamaica, captured the Pimlico Oaks in Maryland, and then returned to Belmont Park to win the Coaching Club American Oaks at 1 1/2 miles. She also won the Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park and the Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct before knocking heads with older male handicap horses in the Butler Handicap at Empire City. She did well to finish fourth.

Dropping back to seven furlongs, Vagrancy won the Test Stakes at Saratoga, was awarded 1 1/4-mile Alabama on a disqualification, and beat older fillies and mares in the Beldame and the 1 1/2-mile Ladies Handicap. Between those victories, Mr. Fitz sent her out against the 3-year-old colts in the mile and five-furlong Lawrence Realization and she finished second to Alsab. She concluded the season with three appearances at Laurel for Mr. Fitz's friend and long-time assistant Fish Tappen, winning the Queen Isabella for fillies and faltering in two other stakes against males. Her last start of 1942 was on Oct. 24, which means her 21 starts came in a period of about six months.

Vagrancy was a champion.