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Breeders' Cup 2017

Jess's Dream, Cozmic One Exercise at Saratoga (Video)

Jess's Dream gallops at Saratoga (8-4-14).
Photo: adam mooshian, NYRA
Jess's Dream, clearly recovered from his 24-hour van ride the day before from Ocala, Fla. had his first experience on a real racetrack Monday morning, circling the Saratoga Race Course oval in an easy gallop under exercise rider Renzo Morales.


The 2-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and super filly Rachel Alexandra, herself a Horse of the Year, brought a curious crowd out to the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, including Barbara Banke, the head of owner-breeder Stonestreet Stable, eager to see the colt's unveiling.


Minutes before Jess's Dream was tacked up, another famous unraced colt, Cozmic One, the son of the great Zenyatta, strolled by while being ponied on Clare Court by trainer John Shirreffs.


Jess's Dream emerged from his stall feeling full of himself, and he leaped into the air while being walked by assistant Trish McLaughlin.


At 9:38 a.m., Jess's Dream went out on to the main track with a string of onlookers lining the rail on the backstretch.


"This is his first day," Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We're just happy to get him around there safe, and we'll start working. He galloped once around to get familiar with the surroundings. He went well."


McLaughlin has no timetable for Jess's Dream or any plans yet to work.


"We'll just see how it unfolds," he said. "I'll talk to Ian Brennan [at the Stonestreet Training Center in Ocala], who's had him in training and look at the work tab. He's feeling good, which is a good sign. He moved great out on the racetrack. We're honored to have the horse."


Banke was in a fine mood, seeing Jess's Dream and her other new babies: Good Pick Nick, a feisty Tapit named after her nephew; Ocean Night, by Curlin; and an unnamed baby that is a half to stakes winner Stopchargingmaria.


Curlin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Friday, and Banke is extra excited about Jess's Dream.


Asked if she was relieved to get the first gallop on the big track passed, she said, "Yes! Especially since he was being such a good boy - afterwards. After the high jump."


*           *           *


Introduced to life at the track during a three-week stay at Belmont Park last month, Cozmic One is continuing his education this summer in Saratoga.


The 2-year-old son of champion Bernardini is the first foal by four-time Eclipse Award winner and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. Like the superstar mare, who lost once in her 20-race career, Cozmic One is trained by John Shirreffs.


"We couldn't wait to bring him up here," said Shirreffs. "He's doing really well. Each day, he gets better."


Accompanied by Shirreffs on a pony, Cozmic One and exercise rider Kevlan Henry took a spin around Clare Court, the half-mile gallop track situated behind the main track along Nelson Avenue.


"We started going over there about three days ago," said Shirreffs. "I wanted to take him someplace where it's a little quieter and give him a little exposure walking through the barn area and down the road and everything. The track's a little more narrow, so if he wants to turn one way or another it's a little easier for him."


After walking for one lap on Monday morning, Cozmic One jogged once around, then jogged and walked around another lap before galloping a mile.


"We spend a lot of time warming up," said Shirreffs. "The first day, he was prancing on his toes and the second day he was really on the muscle because he knew what was coming. Today he was much more relaxed about it because he'd gotten over that part of it. For a young, high-strung horse he's coming along nicely."


Bred and owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, who also campaigned Zeynatta, Cozmic One has yet to have a timed workout for Shirreffs.


"He's gone a couple three-eighths that are like two-minute clips," said Shirreffs. "You're extra careful in the sense that he's a very valuable horse, but also knowing that he has to do everything everybody else does. He needs the same sort of exposure. He needs to get over the guy dumping the bucket and all that kind of stuff. You want to help him as much as you can without totally protecting him from that sort of exposure."


Shirreffs said Cozmic One's debut will draw a lot of interest.


"It's probably not as highly anticipated for us as it is for the fans," said Shirreffs. "Cozmic One is just learning how to become a racehorse. You feel like the sky's the limit, right? There's no limitation on the possibilities."


Shirreffs said Stanwyck, runner-up in the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap on July 27, would come back in the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign on August 22.




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