Eddie’s New Dream, outside, edges favorite Becca Taylor in Irish O’Brien
It took every inch of Santa Anita’s 6 ½-furlong hillside turf course, but Reddam Racing’s homebred Eddie’s New Dream was indeed to up to nail previously unbeaten Becca Taylor right on the money in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes.
Trained by Ben Cecil and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Eddie’s New Dream, a 4-year-old filly by Square Eddie, got the official distance of about 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:13.63.
The Irish O’Brien, for older fillies and mares bred or sired in California, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.
Forwardly placed throughout, Eddie’s New Dream was a joint third, about two lengths off pacesetter Becca Taylor at the half mile pole and she had a half-length disadvantage to overcome with about 70 yards to run, but found a way and was up by the thinnest of noses on the wire.
“I didn’t think she was going to get there to be honest, but Mario gave her a great ride and she’s such a tough, consistent filly,” said Cecil. “This is not her trip, she is a mile-plus (type of filly) and she got sick a week ago and missed about a full week of training, so I knew she’d be kind of fresh in here…I think that might’ve helped her a little bit. She deserves a stakes win…I’m glad we got it done.”
Most recently third behind multiple stakes winner Leggs Galore in her first career try down the hill in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint Jan. 15, Eddie’s New Dream was off at 3-1 in a field of seven and paid $8.
“I didn’t know if I was (going to be) able to catch that filly…She was fighting pretty good in the end, so I was hoping we did,” said Gutierrez, who has been aboard for all 12 of Eddie’s New Dream’s starts. “Thank goodness is worked out. I think the key is the distance. We sprinted her seven furlongs on the dirt and then down the hill once before too. So I think those two kind of let her adjust to the pace of the shorter races, I think that was the key for her.
“I was hoping I got up. Sometimes you think you got the head bob and you come back and they’ve got the other horse’s number up. So you never know.”
Three-times stakes placed, Eddie’s New Dream knocked down her first stakes win today, improving her overall mark to 5-3-2 from 13 starts.
Out of Reddam’s Tapit mare Walkingonadream, she picked up $60,000, increasing her earnings to $346,760.
For Becca Taylor, a two-time stakes winner who brought a six-game winning streak into the Irish O’Brien, she lost nothing, in terms of stature, in defeat as she led every jump while coming up a millimeter short. Trained by Steve Miyadi and ridden by Flavien Prat, she was off at 4-5 in her first hillside appearance while finishing two lengths better than Sensible Cat.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Sensible Cat was reserved off the early pace but never threatened late, finishing one length in front of She’s Devoted.
Fractions on the race were :22.49, :45.17 and 1:07.65.