04/10/2016 6:15PM

Surface switch no problem for Dreamologist in Las Cienegas

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Benoit & Associates
Dreamologist, with Flavien Prat aboard, takes the off-the-turf Las Cienegas by 1 3/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Dreamologist fought off an early threat from the stakes winner Velvet Mesquite to win the first stakes of her career in Sunday’s $100,690 Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita.

The race was scheduled for the hillside turf course, but was switched to the main track after approximately a half-inch of rain fell on Saturday. The surface switch was no concern to trainer Richard Mandella, who had a similar situation arise with Dreamologist in February when she won an optional claimer on the main track originally scheduled for turf.

“She does so well on the dirt,” Mandella said.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Dreamologist ($3.40) dueled with Velvet Mesquite through early fractions of 21.54 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.25 for a half-mile. Velvet Mesquite led by a head on the backstretch, but Dreamologist was in front by a similar margin after a half-mile.

“She looked comfortable,” Mandella said. “I thought she’d be in front. She settled with it nicely enough and had enough kick.”

Dreamologist pulled away from her six rivals in early stretch and won by 1 3/4 lengths over the Mandella-trained Off the Road, a 15-1 shot. Fanticola finished third, followed by Velvet Mesquite, Smoove It, Tale of Papa Nick, and Dauphine Russe.

Dreamologist was timed in 1:15.56.

Off the Road, a 5-year-old mare by Quick Road, was a two-time Group 1 winner in Brazil in 2014. The Las Cienegas was her third start in the United States, and first time to finish in the first three.

The field was reduced by four runners after the morning scratches of La Berma, Minks Aprise, Miss Double d’Oro, and My Year Is a Day because of the surface switch.

Dreamologist has won 4 of 8 starts and earned $203,710. The filly races for Jamie Roth’s LNJ Foxwoods and has impeccable breeding. Dreamologist is by top stallion Tapit and is out of Dreaming of Anna, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2006.