Fun to Dream, outside, outbattles Taming the Tigress to capture the Betty Grable
Fun to Dream, the 1-5 favorite, found herself in a serious horse race inside the eighth pole Sunday at Del Mar in the $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes as rival Taming the Tigress dug deep. But ‘Dream’ was up to the task and dug in even deeper to edge past her foe late and score by a head.
The two leaders brushed in the stretch, but the stewards saw no reason to put up the inquiry sign.
“I was thinking we’d go right to the front the way the track is playing, but I think we got bumped by the four (Big Novel) at the start and we had to go to a Plan B,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Fun to Dream’s trainer and breeder Bob Baffert. “She does sit off of horses, that’s why we took off the blinkers last time to get her to relax. She did what she needed to do. The other filly (Taming the Tigress) put in a helluva fight. Luckily she’s a warrior and she wore her down.”
Fun to Dream, owned by Baffert’s wife, Jill, and Connie Pageler, earned a first prize of $57,000 for her hard work in the California-bred race for fillies and mares, pushing her bankroll to $246,590 with her fourth victory in her fifth start.
Fun to Dream was ridden by Del Mar’s leading rider, Juan Hernandez, who was completing a sweep of the track’s trio of stakes over its three-day opening weekend. Baffert won his record 153rd Del Mar stakes.
“She didn’t want to get beat,” Hernandez said. “There was some bumping in the stretch and after my filly got bumped, she got tougher. She tried harder. At the quarter pole she switched leads and we got to running. Then they came together some and my filly showed some fight. I like it. The other filly (Taming the Tigress) ran hard, but my filly did, too.”
The game Taming the Tigress is owned by Mia Familia Racing Stable and trained by Librado Barocio. Finishing third, almost six lengths behind was Harris Farms’ All Dialed In.
Fun to Dream is a daughter of the late champion Arrogate, one of trainer Baffert’s true stars. This past summer she won Del Mar’s seven-furlong Fleet Treat Stakes for California-breds by almost 10 lengths. She covered the Betty Grable’s seven furlongs in 1:22.14 and returned $2.40.