07/07/2017 6:42AM

The real Shane's Girlfriend shows up and dominates Iowa Oaks


After two misfires, Shane’s Girlfriend ran back to her powerful win last December in the Delta Princess, cruising to a 2 1/4-length victory over 50-1 shot Babybluesbdancing in the Grade 3, $203,483 Iowa Oaks on Thursday night at Prairie Meadows.

Babybluesbdancing, an Illinois-bred trained by Terrel Gore, overcame a wide trip around both turns to finish a clear second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of a three-way show photo. Jordan’s Henny got third by a nose, with Chanel’s Legacy a nose better than Mo’s M V P. Ever So Clever, the 7-5 favorite, never mounted much off a rally from the back of the field and finished sixth. Pinch Hit was a trainer scratch, Tapa Tapa Tapa a vet scratch.

Shane’s Girlfriend, ridden by Kyle Frey for trainer Doug O’Neill and owners ERJ Racing, W.C. Racing, and Dennis O’Neill, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.94 and paid $5.60 to win. The Florida-bred 3-year-old, purchased for $95,000 at a 2-year-old in-training sale, is by Adios Charlie out of Western Tornado, by Proud Citizen.

Shane’s Girlfriend sprinted to an easy debut win last October at Santa Anita, then went to Delta Downs and won the Grade 3 Delta Princess by more than 13 lengths. Back in action Jan. 8 at Santa Anita, Shane’s Girlfriend was the 4-5 favorite in the Santa Ynez Stakes, where she ran into Unique Bella and was beaten 10 lengths. That was not her best race, however, and Shane’s Girlfriend probably ran slightly worse when a never-threatening fifth Feb. 25 in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds.

O’Neill regrouped and got Shane’s Girlfriend on a strong, steady work pattern, sent her out on the road again, and got a top effort again Thursday.

On-paper pace factor Chanel’s Legacy missed the break as Sway Away crossed over from post 8 to take command. Shane’s Girlfriend has plenty of speed, but clearly the plan Thursday night was to rate her off the pace, and at first the filly wanted no part of it.

“It was a little difficult around the first turn,” Frey said.

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Indeed, Shane’s Girlfriend briefly lost her stride before the six-furlong pole as she fought restraint, but as soon as the field turned into the backstretch, the filly came back to Frey, settling nicely in third, a couple lengths behind the pacesetters. Frey, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2011, had won only one graded stakes before Thursday, but he had been working Shane’s Girlfriend at home, and around the far turn had confidence he was about to win his second.

“As long as she had the turn of foot she had the last time I worked her, it was over,” Frey said.

And it was over. It took until just past the stretch call for Shane’s Girlfried to pass Chanel’s Legacy, but she looked like a winner at the top of the stretch. The Delta Princess made Shane’s Girlfriend look like a hopeful for the Kentucky Oaks. That didn’t work, but the 2017 Iowa Oaks is hers.

Dreamin puts Saylorville foes to bed

The owner Danny Caldwell said he had an eye on an Iowa-bred allowance race April 27 at Prairie Meadows when he claimed the 4-year-old filly Dreamin for $25,000 on March 17 at Oaklawn. Dreamin finished third in the target race, but no one cares about that any more.

May 19, she won the Mamie Eisenhower Stakes for Iowa-breds, and on Thursday night at Prairie she did even better, capturing the Saylorville, an open six-furlong sprint stakes, by one length. The Saylorville was listed as a $100,000 race, but the total purse wound up at $122,750, and Dreamin’s first-place check came to $81,000, with the addition of Iowa-bred enhancements.

Dreamin raced second, about two paths off the rail, as even-money favorite Chantelline set quick splits of 21.66 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 43.95 for the half. Chantelline couldn’t take the heat, but she towed Dreamin into the homestretch and Dreamin took over from there. Under Ramon Vazquez, she grabbed a narrow lead at the stretch call and comfortably held clear I’m a Looker as Chantelline slid back to third. Dreamin ran six furlongs on a fast and fast-playing track in 1:08.80 and paid $16.40 to win.

Trained by Frederico Villafranco since Caldwell claimed her, Dreamin is by Woke Up Dreamin out of the Golden Missile mare Speedy Gladys Jam, and she has made a good living at Prairie Meadows, where, following her seventh career win, her record now stands at 6-1-2 from 14 starts.