03/12/2009 11:00PM

Time appears right for Dream Empress


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Ken McPeek has ambitious goals such as the Ashland and Epsom Oaks in mind for his talented 3-year-old filly Dream Empress. So, perhaps Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park could be an opportunity to bet against the filly.

Not so fast, according to her trainer, Ken McPeek.

"She's fit, she's ready," McPeek said earlier this week. "We've been pointing to this race for months. She's trained right up to it perfect. I could've run a week sooner, but there's no place to run. She's very fond of the turf. I think a mile and an eighth will be fine - she'll love it."

Dream Empress will face seven rivals in the Herecomesthebride, which shares billing Sunday with the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters.

Dream Empress won a maiden race on turf at Saratoga and then the Grade 1 Alcibiades over Keeneland's Polytrack. After finishing second to Stardom Bound in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, she ended her 2-year-old campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Golden Rod over the dirt course at Churchill Downs.

Dream Empress will break from post 3 under Kent Desormeaux and, as the 122-pound highweight, will spot two to eight pounds to her opponents.

The second choice figures to be Gozzip Girl, who comes off a 2 1/2-length victory in the Coconut Grove Stakes on Feb. 15 after finishing a wide third in an allowance race a month earlier. Trainer Tom Albertrani thought about giving Gozzip Girl a little break after that race, but the filly doesn't appear to want one.

"She's training so well we figured we'd try her back here again," Albertrani said.

Desormeaux rode Gozzip Girl to victory last out, but is committed to Dream Empress. Elvis Trujillo will ride Gozzip Girl from post 6.

Obsequious finished third in the Coconut Grove last out and has gradually improved during the winter, according to trainer Liz Gray, who has won with her last two starters at this meet.

"She's matured through the winter - she's finally figured it out," said Gray, who added that the 1 1/8 miles should benefit her filly.

Obsequious, who will break from the rail, figures to be forwardly placed under Edgar Prado. Oilgonewile, second in the Coconut Grove, is the only other speed in the race. Bluegrass Princess, Fast Tigress, Guarda, and Candle Maker complete the field.