04/14/2014 11:59AM

Phil's Dream pointing to New Providence Stakes

Michael Burns
Champion Phil's Dream, shown winning the 2013 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine, could make his debut in an April 27 allowance prep for the $125,000 New Providence Stakes on May 19.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – One notable absence from the Jacques Cartier Stakes on Sunday was Canada’s champion male sprinter of 2013, Phil’s Dream. While the Jacques Cartier appeared to be a logical starting point for Phil’s Dream’s 2014 campaign, owner and trainer Paul Buttigieg had other ideas.

“I never even considered [the race],” he said. “He had a tough campaign last year, so I wanted to give him a break.”

Phil’s Dream has been posting good workout times at Woodbine throughout the spring and could make his 2014 debut April 27 in an Ontario-sired allowance prep for the $125,000 New Providence Stakes on May 19, a six-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up.

Buttigieg also is eyeing a return to turf for Phil’s Dream this season, the surface on which the 6-year-old gelding recorded his only Grade 1 victory in the Nearctic Stakes last season.

“I’m looking to stretch him out on the grass this year, and if we start him too early, he might be worn out by the time those races come around,” he said.