Niko’s Dream kicks off strong run for sire in My Charmer

Saturday, December 12th, 2020

Niko’s Dream and Junior Alvarado storm home to win My Charmer Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Lauren King/Gulfstream Photo.

By Tom Law

Sackatoga Stable’s Niko’s Dream kicked off a strong 10-minute stretch for Central Banker with an upset victory in Saturday’s $75,000 My Charmer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The 4-year-old filly became a stakes winner with her 1 1/2-length score of Tuned in the 1 1/16-mile My Charmer, just before Central Banker’s son Bankit won the $100,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes at Aqueduct. Central Banker, a 10-year-old son of Speightstown who stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, came into the day second on New York’s general sire list. He’s scheduled to stand the 2021 season for $6,000.

Niko’s Dream, third last time out in the Ticonderoga Stakes on Empire Showcase Day Oct. 24 at Belmont Park, improved to 2-for-7 with a second and a third on the season for $108,690 in earnings. She’s won four of 17 overall and earned $280,900 for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Jockey Junior Alvarado settled Niko’s Dream into fifth position early as Piedi Bianchi ran a quarter-mile in :23.41 and a half in :46.79 pressed by 2019 Tropical Park Oaks winner Our Bay B Ruth with 3-2 favorite Lady Lawyer and 35-1 longshot Great Sister Diane also in the top group.

Niko’s Dream found herself surrounded by Grade 3-placed Art of Almost to the inside and Tuned on her right midway on the far turn when she kicked into high gear. Steered to the far outside by Alvarado, Niko’s Dream collared Art of Almost at the top of the stretch and edged clear with plenty left to hold off a late bid from Tuned. The winning time was 1:41.82 for 1 1/16 miles over the good turf.

“I had a great trip. The whole way around, I was happy where I was,” Alvarado said. “I made my move when I wanted to and had to make sure she was in the clear on the outside. I’ve been riding her for a while, so I knew she likes to make a nice move on the outside. It worked out perfect today.”

Tuned finished a half-length clear of Art of Almost for second, followed by Piedi Bianchi another 2 lengths back in fourth.

Bred by Nick Peros and foaled and raised at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Niko’s Dream and out of the Wild Desert mare Adriatic Dream, Niko’s Dream is the first of three full sisters produced by the mare by Central Banker. Sackatoga Stable owns and Tagg trains the 3-year-old Adriatic Holiday, second in a Saratoga maiden-claiming race July 22 in her most recent start. Trainer David Donk owns the 2-year-old Adriatic Rose, unplaced in two starts so far and in training at Belmont.

Adriatic Dream is the dam of a yearling colt by Laoban, co-bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and Peros, who sold for $37,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale in late September. The mare did not produce a foal in 2020 but was bred to Solomini.


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