02/17/2007 12:00AM

Special Dream capitalizes on pace duel

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Special Dream took advantage of a suicidal speed duel between the two favorites to record an eight-length upset in Saturday's $69,875 Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct.

Aspiring, last early, rallied to get second by one length over Luxury Class. Golden Dreamer, the 1-2 favorite, finished fourth followed by Miss Blue Tye Dye and Hungarian Boatbaby, the 5-2 second choice.

The race set up perfectly for Special Dream as Golden Dreamer, under Jean-Luc Samyn, and Hungarian Boatbaby, with Eibar Coa up, hooked up right out of the gate and were at each other's throat through an opening quarter in 21.84 seconds and the half-mile in 44.85 seconds. Hungarian Boatbaby put Golden Dreamer away at the three-sixteenths pole, but Special Dream swallowed her up by the eighth pole and drew clear for the convincing score. Alan Garcia rode the winner, picking up the mount from Roberto Alvarado Jr., who was injured earlier this week.

Special Dream, a 3-year-old daughter of Officer owned and bred by Hidden Lane Farms and trained by Guadalupe Preciado, covered the six furlongs in 1:11.36 and returned $20 to win.

"There were going so fast up front, I said, 'My filly has got a chance,'" Garcia said. "She ran a good race and the fractions really helped her."

The victory kept Garcia on roll this month. He was 16 for 64 in February through Saturday, and has had seven multiple-win days here. His 36 wins put him in a fourth-place tie with Mike Luzzi in the inner-track rider standings.