Ocala Dream adds Kingston to growing resume

Monday, May 30th, 2022

Ocala Dream benefits from Aqueduct prep and tops strong field in Kingston Stakes on Big Apple Showcase Day at Belmont. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Somelikeithotbrown came into Monday’s Big Apple Showcase Day as one of the – if not the heaviest – favorites of the card. For much of the $125,000 Kingston Stakes, it looked like the multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire might run away with the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes.

Ocala Dream, bred by Mahwhinney, Lieberman, Beglin & Coutsodontis and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, had other ideas, racing right past that rival to win the closing stakes of the day by 2 1/4 lengths.

The 2022 Kingston proved a vintage renewal, with all but one of the eight runners having stakes form. The group featured six stakes winners, led by multiple New York-bred champion, Grade 2 winner and $1,189,338-earner Somelikeithotbrown and his stablemate, multiple Grade 2 winner and $1,123,979-earner Cross Border. In the end it was Ocala Dream, a 4-year-old son of Effinex owned by Thomas Albrecht, Vincent Fusar and James Klein, that came out on top as one of the youngest runners in the field.

Ocala Dream broke well from the inside under Javier Castellano, dueled briefly for the lead before happily taking back to run close behind pacesetting City Man. Down the backstretch the lead changed with Somelikeithotbrown and Jose Ortiz charged to the front to take control, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Advanced Strategy and City Man, with Ocala Dream a close fourth through the half in :47.26.

Ocala Dream angled wide around the far turn and Somelikeithotbrown started to falter with the field closing the gap. Somelikeithotbrown, the 4-5 favorite, tried to dig in and keep the lead, but Ocala Dream gave him no chance to fight back as he flew past in the lane.

Ocala Dream drew off while Sanctuary City rallied for second and a head clear of Therapist in third. Cross Border finished fourth with Somelikeithotbrown fifth. Ocala Dream won in 1:39.79 over the firm inner turf course.

Trainer Tom Morley (far right) and Team Ocala Dream capped Big Apple Showcase Day with a victory in the Kingston. NYRA Photo.

Trained by Tom Morley, Ocala Dream added a fourth victory to his record in the Kingston and a second stakes victory after winning the Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes last June at Belmont. He prepped for the Kingston with a second in an open allowance-optional April 14 at Aqueduct, his lone start of 2022 and first since finishing fourth in the Gio Ponti in late November at Aqueduct.

“He’s not a big horse, but he’s a stalky little horse,” Morley said. “I believe a lot in weights. He was 30 pounds lighter today than he was when he was at Aqueduct. He had a really good breeze program into this race. There were some very good horses in that race today, but he got a Hall of Fame ride by Javier to get the job done.”

Now an earner of $276,490, Ocala Dream had become Effinex’s first stakes winner in the Spectacular Bid. He also gave that same distinction to his winning Freud dam Eleni’s Daughter. The colt had broken his maiden one start prior to the stakes victory, almost three years and two months after being foaled in March 2018 at Sequel New York in Hudson.

Ocala Dream was a $50,000 purchase at the 2020 OBS March sale of 2-year-old in training by co-owner Thomas Albrecht from the Daylight Farm Racing & Sales consignment.

Ocala Dream’s family laid roots in New York when his second dam Smoke N Shadows was sent to the state as a racehorse, making five starts on the NYRA circuit. She stayed in New York as a broodmare with Eleni’s Daughter her sixth foal born in the program.

Eleni’s Daughter has produced four named New York-breds with three winners. Her other runner also has a placing to his name. Eleni’s Daughter had one more foal after Ocala Dream, a 3-year-old Florida-bred Mission Impazible filly named Silvia V’s Heroes who has yet to race. That filly is a full sister to the winning New York-bred gelding Operative.

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