Dream Bigger scores popular victory in Notebook Stakes, eyes NYSS Great White Way

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Sent off as the 4-5 post time favorite in the featured $100,000 Notebook Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Sunday, Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger obliged his backers with a strong winning performance in the six-furlong sprint.

The victory was the second straight stakes score for the grey son of Mission Impazible. The colt’s connections hope to make it three in-a-row when they wrap up his juvenile campaign in the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS) Series on December 14 at Aqueduct.

Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Dream Bigger opened his account on August 8 in Saratoga with a runner-up finish in a New York-bred maiden special weight race to Tiz the Law, who flattered the performance by winning the Grade 1 Champagne next out. In his second try at Belmont on September 15, he put in another good effort, but on that occasion was caught in the final strides by Notebook rival Harris Bay and had to settle for another second. Adding blinkers and shipping to Finger Lakes on September 30 to contest the $204,000 New York Breeders’ Futurity as a maiden, Dream Bigger finally had the chance to prove who was boss, winning the lucrative six-furlong contest by 10 3/4 lengths.

Reunited with Ortiz for the third time in the Notebook and advantageously drawn in the outside post of seven, Dream Bigger was sent off– as in his three previous starts – as the post time favorite.

Dream Bigger’s start was a little rocky. He broke inward and initiated some contact involving Harris Bay and Mission Wrapitup to his inside. Once he got into stride however, he set off in aggressive pursuit of Moonachie who had rushed to the front and led the field though an opening quarter in 22.95 by two lengths

Advancing on the leader, Dream Bigger hooked Harris Bay midway around the far turn. The two raced in tandem to the quarter pole before Dream Bigger shook him off completely and opened four lengths of daylight.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

In the final furlong Linda Rice-trainee Scilly Cay (23-1) made things interesting.

The recent maiden-breaker and third-time starter was content to share the caboose with fellow longshot Mission Wrapitup in the early stages of the race. Saving ground and cutting the corner, he angled out three-wide at the top of the lane and launched a furious rush to wire. After scampering into second, he continued to close ground on Dream Bigger, but ran out of real estate, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner after a strong effort.

Bank On Shea, who raced in the second flight in the early stages finished another half-length back in third, followed across the line by Harris Bay, Ny Traffic, Mission Wrapitup and Moonachie. The final time for six furlongs over the fast going was 1:12.28

Jose Ortiz described his satisfaction with the colt’s maturing process. “When he made the lead [in his first starts], he kind of played around a bit; that’s why we put blinkers on him to focus him up a bit more. He looked real good and did everything I asked him. He switched leads today, so we’re happy about that. Much better.”

The race flow took Rodriguez a little by surprise. “[Moonachie] I didn’t expect to see in front,” said Rodriguez. “I just told Jose, ‘You’re on top of the horse, just play it by ear.’ I don’t think we had him as ready and I think that this race will move him forward. He was carrying a little more weight than I wanted. But he got it done today and we’ll take things from here.”

Rodriguez has made no secret that the year-end goal for Dream Bigger is the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series on December 14 at Aqueduct.

As he explained, “[Owner] Mike [Repole] wanted to go straight to that race but he was doing so well, I told him we should give him a race in between. We didn’t necessarily need to win but maybe get him a little tight, and I think this race is going to do that for him.”

Bred by Sequel New York, Twin Creeks Racing and Pamela Zielinski, Dream Bigger is the most recent reported foal, and one of two winners, out of Downtown Daria, a Kentucky-breed winner by Sky Mesa. The mare’s Noonmark filly Downtown at Noon placed in the Niagara at Finger Lakes in 2017 and earned just shy of six figures. Downtown Daria was bred back this year to Mission Impazible.

Dream Bigger took three trips through auction ring. Northface Bloodstock purchased him for $15,000 as a weanling out of the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale. Returning next summer in the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, he brought $65,000 from Whetstone Farm. Mike Repole went to $205,000 to take him home from the OBS spring 2-year-old sale this spring. From two stakes wins and a pair of seconds, Dream Bigger has matched his sale price in earnings with $205,828.

New York sire Mission Impazible stands at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson for a 2020 fee of $5,000.

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