January 22, 2022

Dream Pauline earns first stakes win in Sugar Swirl; Tequilita best in Rampart

Dream Pauline and jockey Javier Castellano capture the Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on December 15, 2018 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography

Out of multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Rush and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Dreaming of Julia, Dream Pauline was bred to be a good one. The three-year-old Tapit filly recorded her first stakes victory while making her fourth career start in Saturday’s $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream Park, prevailing by a neck for owner/breeder Stonestreet Stables.

With Javier Castellano retaking the mount, Dream Pauline made amends for a troubled third in her stakes debut, the November 4 Dream Supreme at Churchill Downs. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained chestnut easily captured her first two starts, a maiden special weight at Aqueduct in December 2017 and an entry-level allowance/optional claimer at Saratoga on August 2.

Dream Pauline showed speed from the start on the sloppy track, prompting Surprise Wedding through an opening quarter-mile in :22.73. She advanced to take a short lead on the far turn, completing a half-mile in :46.26, and edged clear in upper stretch. Stormy Embrace rallied to make it close late, but Dream Pauline dug in gamely to prevail and finished six furlongs in 1:11.10.

“I like the way she did it today,” Castellano said. “You don’t know when it rains like this and how they’ll respond to the track, but she did it really well today. She broke sharp out of the gate and put me in a good spot all the way in the race. I was able to control the race and I liked the way she finished. She looked around a little bit in the last sixteenth pole, but she was engaged when she saw the other horses outside and I think it was a great performance today.”

Off as the 8-5 favorite among eight distaffers, Dream Pauline increased her bankroll to $154,583. The Kentucky-bred also counts stakes winner Atreides as a half-brother.

“It was great that she broke well from the outside and Javier let (Pacific Gale) clear us and then just sat there, beautiful trip. He said she started looking around a little bit late, waiting, but when the horse came to her she dug back in. It’s such an important win for this filly with her pedigree and the connections, to win for Barbara [Banke] and Stonestreet, so it was a huge win.

“She’s very lightly raced. Hopefully she’ll be back on January 26 in the Hurricane Bertie (G3).”

Stormy Embrace offered a fine showing from just off the pace at 5-2 and wound up 3 ¾ lengths better than the 30-1 Pacific Gale. Bronx Beauty came next and was followed by Awestruck, Surprise Wedding, Proper Discretion and Money or Love.

Tequilita and jockey Luis Saez capture the Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on December 15, 2018 (c) Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography

A couple of races earlier on the program, Dorothy A. Matz’s homebred Tequilita edged to the lead in midstretch and drew away to a 2 ½-length decision in the $100,000 Rampart (G3). The four-year-old filly notched her fourth stakes win in her career finale and completed a one-turn mile in 1:37.62. Luis Saez was up for Michael Matz.

Tequilita tracked pacesetter Tapa Tapa Tapa in second during the early stages.

“She’s better if she lays a little bit off the pace and then just keeps running at them,” Matz said. “Sometimes if she gets a lead she’ll just kind of wait a little bit. (Saez) has ridden her a bunch of times and he’s done really well with her. We’re going to breed her this spring (to Street Sense) and my wife said let’s finish up in Florida here and thank God we ended up on a good note because there was a little bit of a lull there for a while.”

An upset winner of the 2017 Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream, Tequilita snapped an eight-race losing skein while recording her first triumph this year. Her last score came in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) in September 2017 and the bay daughter of Union Rags was exiting an encouraging runner-up effort in the October 28 Pumpkin Pie at Belmont Park,

“She broke so sharp, she was in such a good spot I just wanted to protect it,” Saez said. “I thought at the three eighths pole I was done, but I kept asking her and she gave me the kick, she just took off down the stretch. I know she likes the track this way, as she’s won easily on this surface before.”

She left the starting gate as the 5-2 second choice in the seven-horse field.

Electric Forest, the 8-5 favorite, was bumped hard leaving the starting gate and found herself boxed in after advancing along the rail into upper stretch, forcing Jose Ortiz to alter course to the outside. She rallied to get up for second in the final strides, edging 3-1 pacesetter Tapa Tapa Tapa. It was another 4 ½ lengths back to Snirvana in fourth and Breaking Bread, Tweeting and Inspeightofyou completed the order of finish.

Tequita was bred in Kentucky and is out of the Grade 3-winning Mr. Greeley mare Sangrita, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Offlee Wild. She’s earned $666,110 from a 19-5-4-2 record.