04/21/2010 11:00PM

Hesa Big Star chases three-peat


Each of the last two years, Hesa Big Star has returned from a long layoff to win the closing-day stakes at Atlantic City's mini-meet. He is back to attempt a three-peat in the $50,000 Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes, but to pull off the feat he will have to beat his younger stablemate Blue Sailor.

Hesa Big Star and 11-time turf winner Blue Sailor will race uncoupled for trainer Howard Wolfendale in the Dream Big, a five-furlong stakes. Both horses have not raced since last September.

In their only previous meeting, in the 2008 running of the $250,000 Turf Monster at Philadelphia Park, both horses were off the board and never threatened, with Blue Sailor finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Hesa Big Star.

An 8-year-old, Hesa Big Star successfully returned to the races following layoffs of 218 and 242 days to win the last two runnings of the Dream Big. He will be reunited with jockey Horatio Karamanos, who was aboard for Hesa Big Star's neck victory in the 2008 running.

Harry Vega, who rode Hesa Big Star in last year's Dream Big, has chosen to remain on the 6-year-old Blue Sailor, who won his 2009 debut at Atlantic City following a six-month layoff and went on finish second in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National.

Wolfendale's entry will be challenged by another turf sprinter returning from a long layoff, the

8-year-old Cardashi. Trained by Tim Kreiser, Cardashi defeated both Hesa Big Star and Blue Sailor last year, including a 29-1 upset in the Governor's Cup.