Race of the Week 2017

Ryehill Dreamer Surprises in American 'Cap

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Photo: Hollywood Park

Ryehill Dreamer earned the first graded victory of his career, edging favored Sidney’s Candy in the $150,000 American Handicap Saturday at Hollywood Park.


The 8-1 surprise by the 5-year-old Irish bred was not the only upset in the Pick 6, so there is a carryover into Sunday of $86,254. The Pick 6 begins in the fourth race. Post time is 1 p.m.


Owned by Marsha Naify and trained by Julio Canani, Ryehill Dreamer and jockey Joe Talamo got a gorgeous trip several lengths off the quick pace set by Sidney’s Candy – with Liberian Freighter in close attendance – swung outside at the top of the stretch and was up to win an extremely close photo.


A gelded son of Catch In The Rye and the Rainbows for Life mare No Way, Ryehill Dreamer won for the fifth time in 12 starts. The $90,000 payday in the Grade II pushed his earnings to $296,807.


This was the third win in seven starts in the United States for Ryehill Dreamer, who was 2-for-5 as a 2-year-old in his homeland.


Before Saturday, the bay had failed in his six previous attempts in group or graded company, although he was second, beaten only a half-length, in last month’s Inglewood Handicap.


Providing Canani with his second American victory – the first was with Bayamo in 2004 – Ryehill Dreamer paid $19.60, $6.60 and $3.20. He completed the mile on turf in 1:33.55.


Sidney’s Candy, who was also the beaten choice in the Meryn LeRoy Handicap in his initial start of the year May 7, returned $3.20 and $2.10. The even-money favorite, who spotted the winner seven pounds (123-116), finished 4 ½ lengths in front of The Usual Q.T.


The 9-5 second choice in the field of six, The Usual Q.T. paid $2.20 to show. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the 5-year-old Unsual Heat gelding. He hasn’t won since taking the Eddie Read last July 24 at Del Mar.


Completing the order of finish were Liberian Freighter, who had won the Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita and the Inglewood in his two previous races, and Goldwaki, who was always far back in his first in the U.S. Smokey Lonesome and Norvsky were scratched.


“It took a lot of patience with this horse,’’ said Canani, who had been treated recently for a detached retina. “He has his issues, but when he was down at San Luis Rey, (trainer) Carlos (Lopez) took his time with him. When he came back to me, he was ready to do something.


“I took my time, too, to start with him, but it paid off. I’ll play everything by ear as far as the ($300,000, Grade I) Shoemaker Mile (July 2).’’


This was the first collaboration with Ryehill Dreamer for Talamo, who was on the wrong end of a close finish in the 2010 American. He lost by a head to Global Hunter and Brice Blanc after setting all the pace aboard 6-1 shot Temple City.


“I was so glad that other horse (Liberian Freighter) went with Sidney’s Candy,’’ said Talamo. “We thought on paper it would be like that, but you never know until it actually happens. It set up great for him today and Julio has done a great job getting him to relax. In his earlier races he would get kind of rank the first part, but he relaxed so nice for me today.’’


The main trigger for the Pick 6 carryover was a $143.80 shocker by Slane Castle in the fifth race.


No better than fourth in five previous starts, the 3-year-old daughter of Castledale was up to win by a nose over pacesetter It’s Candy Time in the $50,000 race for maiden fillies.


Owned by Patrick Everard and Elizabeth and Leonard Penley and trained by Bob Leonard, Slane Castle was ridden by Joe Steiner. The victory was the first for the jockey since he won a $50,000 maiden claimer aboard Free Rocket March 25, 2005 at Santa Anita.




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