Broken Dreams – Since Broken Dreams is by Broken Vow and out of Our Dreamer, it’s easy to see how the Glen Hill Farm homebred got her name. There’s more to the story.
“None of the mare’s babies can run,” said trainer Tom Proctor. “When she came along I said ‘Well, here we go with another one; might as well call her Broken Dreams.’ That’s why I ran her the first time for 25 ($25,000 in a claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs). She’s been a real nice surprise.”
Broken Dreams’ granddam is One Dreamer, who was the 1994 Distaff (now Ladies’ Classic) upset winner at 47-1 on this racetrack and was bred and owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Proctor. They would like nothing better than lightning striking twice. Four other Glen Hill horses have come up empty in Breeders’ Cup races over the decades.
“It’s nice to have her. She’s the only one out of that family who can run,” said Glen Hill Farm president Craig Bernick, who took the reins at the operation founded by his now 92-year-old grandfather Leonard Lavin in 1967.
“The dam is in Venezuela now. I spent twice as much on stud fees as she won. It turns out that she has a champion 2-year-old there. Maybe I ought to go to South America and find her.”
Broken Dreams wasn’t sent to Proctor until she was a 3yo. After winning that maiden race she stepped up into higher classes of competition and found the winner’s circle four more times, including her most recent victory in the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes at Santa Anita last out.
“She hurt her knee, but she’s turned out to be a good one since,” said Bernick. “Like Tom said, she’s a nice surprise.”
Broken Dreams worked 3f on the turf course in 35 4/5 under Gabriel Sanchez on Wednesday.
California Flag – “Oh, boy. I wish they were running this thing tomorrow. He’s tough right now and he wants to run,” said California-based conditioner Brian Koriner Wednesday morning of California Flag.
The California-bred gelding will be making his fourth straight start in the Turf Sprint, a race he won in 2009 at Santa Anita as a 5yo, one of the 10 career victories that has helped him to amass more than $1.2 million in earnings. But he is a 7yo now and there are those who say the veteran may have lost a step or two.
“Age isn’t a factor,” said Koriner. “He’s as good as he’s ever been. And I know he’ll do better than he did here last year (8th of 14). He’s not the kind to do what he did here last time – breaking slowly and never really getting into the race. He was hitting himself – mostly in the left front – in his races and it was hurting him. It hurt every time he ran and it took some of his confidence away.
“I had several horseshoers work with him, but we couldn’t seem to quite get it right. We tried polyurethane shoes on him one time and he hit himself again and opened about an 8-inch cut on his leg. I can look back and find a good excuse for every one of his bad races.
“But we’ve got it right now and he’s doing well. He’s got his confidence back and he’s just as good as ever. They run for big money in these events and that’s why we’re here. I think he’ll do well.”
Patrick Valenzuela will ride Saturday and they’ll start from post 6.
Caracortado – The chestnut son of Cat Dreams, whose name means “scarface” in Spanish, landed safely in Louisville Tuesday and was bedded down in Barn 39 Wednesday morning with trainer and part owner Mike Machowsky making sure all was well.
“We’ll just jog him around one time this morning,” the conditioner said. “He’s only running five furlongs Saturday; he doesn’t need much. He shipped fine and ate up.”
The 4yo gelding’s last seven races have been around two turns, but Machowsky put speed on his horse’s mind Sunday when he worked him in 46 seconds flat on the main track at Santa Anita.
Caracortado has sprinted five times in his career, winning four and finishing third in the other. He’ll be handled by regular rider Joe Talamo in the Turf Sprint and they’ll start from post 13 in the 14-horse lineup.
Chamberlain Bridge – The defending champ continues to impress trainer Bret Calhoun with his training and is showing signs that his head is back in the game after a trying season in which he made the winner’s circle one time in five starts.
“He’s never trained better and I say that, but we’ve never really had to train him like this, said Calhoun. “Up until this year, we’ve been able to keep him racing on a regular schedule, but after his first couple of starts this year, we decided we needed to space his races more. It’s never been physical. I think it’s all been between the ears. I do like where he’s at right now.”
Hoofit – The New Zealand-bred gelding jogged 1m and galloped 1m at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
Hoofit, who won only two of 16 starts in his native company, has won both of his starts since joining trainer Graham Motion’s stable in the U.S. The 4yo gelding closed from far back in an allowance to win going away at Presque Isle Downs in his first start, followed by a nose score in the Phoenix at Keeneland.
“I have to be a little bit surprised by him, to be honest. But when he came to me his works were quite impressive and I was pretty excited about running him the first time,” Motion said. “It was so impressive. He really galloped. He went by them like they were standing still.”
Edgar Prado has the mount.
Regally Ready – Six of his eight wins have come on or near the front end at every call, but according to trainer Steve Asmussen, Vinery Stables’ 4yo gelded son of More Than Ready is not a “need to lead” type of horse, and the fact that the Breeders’ Cup is at Churchill Downs this year gives him added confidence for Saturday’s Turf Sprint.
“He’s two for two over the Churchill course, and that’s always a plus,” Asmussen said. “In the (Churchill Downs) Turf Sprint (May 7), he didn’t exactly break well but he settled and still ran a big race. He’ll take what the race gives him.”