07/24/2009 12:00AM

Temo's Dream renews Kaplan's faith


MIAMI - Trainer Bill Kaplan had high hopes for Temo's Dream following the 3-year-old's breakthrough entry-level allowance win on June 14. And after suffering through a disappointing effort by Temo's Dream in the American Dreamer Stakes on turf four weeks later, Kaplan had those hopes rekindled after the former claimer rallied to an impressive second-level allowance victory in Friday's featured ninth race.

Temo's Dream, a gelded son of Pure Precision, was prominent throughout Friday's main event under jockey Manoel Cruz. Stalking the pace of tepid 3-1 favorite Halo's Who, Temo's Dream engaged the leader on the final turn and wrested control in early stretch before edging away to a 1 3/4-length decision.

"That's two good ones he put together on the dirt," said Kaplan. "I think he would have run better in that stakes race on the grass, but he got stopped cold turning for home. I'm not saying he would have won it, but he would have finished a lot closer."

Temo's Dream needed 10 tries to finally win his maiden under a $25,000 claiming tag this spring at Gulfstream Park. But he's now captured three of his last five starts, and Kaplan is looking forward to the second half of the season for his vastly improved 3-year-old.

"He's changed a lot," said Kaplan, who trains Temo's Dream for the Vicino Racing Stables Inc. "He's a much nicer horse now. He had some mental problems early that we worked on and he's come a long way. A lot of that had to do with gelding him. He also had some minor throat surgery earlier this year, which obviously has also made a big difference."

Kaplan said he'll see what's available before deciding on what would be next for Temo's Dream.

"He's eligible for $25,000 starter races, but they only write those here on the grass," said Kaplan. "I might try putting him in one of those for dirt only and hope it comes off the turf. It's more likely he'll get a little break since today's race came on just two weeks' rest."

Cruz could threaten meet record

Cruz's victory aboard Temo's Dream was his second on the card. The first, which came on Rock a Tong in the fifth race, was Cruz's 100th win of the meet. Cruz, who captured the 2006 Calder riding title with 197 winners, is averaging almost two victories a day since the meet began on April 24, which puts him nearly on pace to threaten Eddie Castro's single-meet record of 218 wins in 2005.

Nunez takes off mounts

Jockey Eduardo Nunez took off all his mounts on Friday. Nunez fell off the favored Sneak Peek in Thursday's nightcap, then made it out to work four horses during training hours on Friday but complained of not feeling well later that morning. His agent, Roger Velez Jr., said Nunez was to be checked out by his physician for precautionary reasons before hopefully returning to action on Saturday.

Track to review non-starter rule

John Marshall, the track's vice president and general manager of racing, said he will undertake a review of the house rule regarding non-starters and purse payments in light of an incident that took place here Saturday. Just a Dream was declared a non-starter by the stewards after he broke open his barrier fractions of a second before the rest of the field left the starting gate in the maiden turf event. Although he recovered to finish second at odds of 25-1, Just a Dream was also disqualified from the $2,750 in purse money he would have earned due to the house rule by which the stewards based their decision.

"I'm going to survey tracks in New York, Kentucky, Maryland, and California and see how they handle similar situations regarding unfair starts and how it relates to non-starters and purse monies," said Marshall. "Depending on the results, it could lead to Calder making a change in its house rules governing that type of situation in the future."