Photo: Hollywood Park
For the second day in a row, a Southern California newcomer sprung a stakes surprise at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The culprit Sunday was 13-1 outsider Mega Dream, who shocked 2-5
favorite Mizdirection in the $75,070 Great Lady M. This victory came 24
hours after Wilkinson’s 44-1 stunner in the Grade II, $150,000 American
The come-from-behind win came a little more than six weeks after an
optional claiming score at Oaklawn Park in her first race for trainer
A 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the St. Jovite mare
Dream Away, Mega Dream was ridden by Rafael Bejarano and completed the
six furlongs on turf in 1:08.84. The margin of victory was 1 ¼ lengths.
Transferred to Bonde after being purchased for $40,000 by Barry
Arnason, Jerry Durant and Mersad Metanovic at a Keeneland mixed sale,
Mega Dream, who paid $28.40, $9.40 and $6.40, earned most of the sale
price back Sunday. The $43,530 payday increased her bankroll to
$146,585. She’s won four of 11.
Like Wilkinson, Mega Dream is well-traveled. Betfair Hollywood Park
was the sixth different track at which she has run, joining Fair
Grounds, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Saratoga and Oaklawn.
Mega Dream, who was previously trained by Ralph Nicks, certainly
bettered her previous turf effort. The dark bay, who was bred in
Kentucky by Nancy Stillman, trailed going a mile last Aug. 20 at
Saratoga in her grass debut.
“Since she’s come out here, she’s had some sizzling works on the
main track,’’ said Bonde. “I entered her three or four times in an
allowance race on Cushion Track and the races didn’t go.
“I saw this race in the (condition) book, so last week I breezed her
on turf (five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 May 20) and she went really well on
it. I said we should take a chance here because this might work out.’’
Seeking her fifth consecutive win for trainer Mike Puype and a
partnership that includes radio and television sports broadcaster Jim
Rome, Mizdirection was a no-excuse second.
Settled off the pace by jockey Garrett Gomez early, the gray
daughter of Mizzen Mast swung to the outside at the head of the lane,
collared pacesetter Bloemer Girl early in midstretch, but couldn’t match
the winner in the final sixteenth of a mile. She paid $2.60 and $2.10.
“Everything was going well,’’ said Gomez. “She placed herself well and I
thought that any time I wanted to go, I could go. I saw (jockey Joel)
Rosario (on 9-2 second choice and eventual fourth place finisher Teroda)
getting through on the fence and I told her to go. When I told her to
go, she lengthened, but she didn’t quicken.’’
The show price on Bloemer Girl, a California bred who recently
returned to her home state after four starts in Louisiana and Kentucky
earlier in the year, was $6.60. She wound up a half-length behind