June 9, 2023

Dreaming of Snow turns back Wonder Wheel in Suncoast upset

Dreaming of Snow (inside) wins the Suncoast Stakes (Photo by SV Photography)

Dreaming of Snow carried her speed to a 38-1 upset in Saturday’s $150,000 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, holding off champion two-year-old filly Wonder Wheel by a neck in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series qualifier.

It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Demoiselle (G2) winner Julia Shining, who sustained her first setback finishing third.

The mile and 40-yard race awarded points on 20-8-6-4-2 basis toward an Oaks berth.

Dreaming of Snow, a Florida-bred daughter of Jess’s Dream, rebounded from a fourth in the Jan. 14 Gasparilla S. at Tampa in which she never made an impact after stalking the pace. A wire-to-wire allowance scorer at six furlongs two starts back, the Gerald Bennett-trained filly reverted to her frontrunning ways with regular rider Samy Camacho, breaking on top and showing the way on a short lead until coming under serious pressure in the stretch.

Wonder Wheel, off as the 1-2 favorite following wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Alcibiades (G1), did not get away from the gate sharply from her innermost post, but she appeared to be traveling smoothly when advancing closer on the far turn and loomed a serious threat while continuing to edge closer in upper stretch.

But she could not get past Dreaming of Snow, who kept showing more along the inside and gamely prevailed while drifting out late. It marked the initial stakes win for Dreaming of Snow, and the chestnut stopped the teletimer in 1:40.18.

Wonder Wheel wound up 1 1/4 lengths better than 2.30-1 second choice Julia Shining, who made a move into contention while under a ride turning for home but flattened out in deep stretch. It was an additional seven lengths to Opus Forty Two in fourth, and Charlie’s Wish, Champagne Calling, Fast Tracked, and Ticker Tape Home completed the order.

Dreaming of Snow, $60,000 OBS March two-year-old purchase, improved her career record to 3-for-5 for owners Team Equistaff and Winning Stables. She’s the first stakes winner out of the Old Fashioned mare Snow Fashion and was bred by Karyn Philipp.