-photo by Jenifer Juelsgaard/Coady Photography

Dreamsandvisions Closes for the Win in the $45,000 Spring Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

(March 17, 2007) - March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day were part of tonight’s festivities at Sam Houston Race Park, but the real star of the evening was Dreamsandvisions in the $45,000 Spring Stakes. Just one year ago, Dreamsandvisions was the favorite in this stakes, but got caught at the wire by 30-1 longshot, Andanight. Tonight, the 5-year-old turned the tables on Andanight and eight other accredited Texas-breds and gave owner Sandra Duke of Bloomburg, Texas a nice St. Patrick’s Day present. The chestnut gelding is trained by Duke’s husband, Steven and was ridden this evening by Jose Figueroa.

This was the 23rd start for Dreamsandvisions, who has made his mark in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky for the Dukes. He ran third here on December 2 in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes before making two starts in 2007 at Delta Downs. Unlike last year’s front-running effort in the Spring Stakes, Figueroa was content to stay off the pace and make his move at the top of the lane. Drawing clear to the outside of the field, he crossed the wire of the seven-furlong stakes over a fast track in a final time of 1:23.84, winning by two lengths.

“This horse needs pace,” said Duke. “This race set up a little better for us. We had a lot of early speed to run at and this horse kicks, no matter if you run him six furlongs or a mile and a sixteenth. I give all the credit to Jose; he gave him a real patient ride and it worked out real well. I’ve run him at seven or eight tracks and he’s done well everywhere we have shipped. He’s just a pleasure to own and our once in a lifetime horse.”

Goosey Moose closed well for second under rider Don Simington.

“The one and the six had all the early speed, just like we expected,” said Brandon Jenkins, assistant to trainer Danny Pish. “I’m happy with the second. We got outrun by a very good horse, so I’m happy, and I know Danny is, too. The early speed really set us up good. We figured with the fast pace he’d have something left at the end. (Jockey) Donny (Simington) said he did, but Dreamsandvisions is a very class horse, and we have a very class horse, too. I’m not disappointed with a second, but he’s coming back off of these races very well, and I would say the next race – every race – I wouldn’t count him out. As I know now, there’s not another race left for him here before the end of the meet, but the way he’s coming back, I wouldn’t count him out of anything.”

Snuck By, who was making his 2007 debut for trainer Bret Calhoun, was sent off as the post-time favorite. Leading Sam Houston Race Park rider, Larry Taylor sent the 4-year-old son of Snuck In to the lead, but could not hold off the closing efforts of Dreamsandvisions and Goosey Moose. He finished third by a neck.

“He hasn’t run for a while,” commented Taylor, who rode him to his back-to-back wins here last December. “I think if he had a race in him, he might have been a little tougher.”

Sent off as the third betting choice, Dreamsandvisions rewarded his supporters with payouts of $8.20, $3.60 and $2.80. The 7-8 exacta paid $26.60 and trifecta returned $95.80. Lissa’s Star, Mean Demand, Gold Rollick, last year’s winner, Andanight, Guacamole and Leeway completed the order of finish. Trouble Now was an early scratch.

Duke indicated that Dreamsandvisions might make his next start at Oaklawn Park or remain in Texas and run in the Premier Stakes at Lone Star Park.

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