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Jess’s Dream Highlights Saratoga Monday Card

Jess’s Dream Highlights Saratoga Monday Card: Taco, known today as Jess’s Dream, already captured racing fans’ hearts simply because of his mother Rachel Alexandra. Now, the question is whether he can capture a nine furlong maiden event on Monday at Saratoga Race Course, scheduled for Race 6. Some observers are questioning the long distance for his career debut. Considering the pedigree though, it seems proper.

Jess's Dream Saratoga

Six years after Rachel Alexandra’s Woodward victory, how fitting for her foals and other relatives to make Saratoga their summer home. Photo: Susie Raisher, Coglianese/NYRA

While a three-year-old son of Curlin too, Jess’s Dream’s mother will be what most people notice when handicapping the race. Rachel Alexandra had a glorious 2009 racing season for a female. She captured the Kentucky Oaks (GI), Preakness (GI), Haskell (GI) and Woodward (GI) among other races. Plus, her 2010 season was not poor either, unless never finishing worse than second equals going off form.

Jess’s Dream carries the burden of having such excellent horses as his immediate parents. Hopeful followers remain enthusiastic, despite the long-ish time it has taken for Jess’s Dream to become prepared. Skeptics are chomping at the bit yet again, waiting to play “smart handicapper” and tell everyone “I told you so” once he loses, as if misfiring on the career debut even matters.

To be fair to doubters, there are red flags concerning Jess’s Dream. The official worktab appears spotty, meaning the spacing between his recent workouts hint there were minor problems needing to be corrected. A healthy horse works in intervals of six to eight days leading up to his next race. Jess’s Dream’s tab shows no official works between July 12 and 25.

Furthermore, Jess’s Dream has been in training for a while now, which might mean they were not eager to display his talents. He returned to Stonestreet earlier this year, possibly for more room to grow and mature, before being sent back to the racetrack at Belmont Park sometime in the spring. Curlin began his career in February of his three-year-old season, and Rachel Alexandra started as a two-year-old filly.

Then again, the immortal Zenyatta never debuted until December of her three-year-old season. She turned out okay and won a few nice stakes races, for a horse beginning kind of late.

Going through the field, nothing stands out except for maybe All Rise’s price tag. A $400k purchase as a yearling, and the most expensive horse sired by Mineshaft at his auction, All Rise’s first two starts are not exactly indicative of what they paid. In his second start, rider Jose Lezcano lost the whip. Lezcano sticks around for another attempt and they apply Lasix, two good signs.

The rest of the competition looks average, at least so far. Those who liked the old “mythical” (since they never ran against each other) Rachel Alexandra-Zenyatta rivalry will enjoy seeing Captain Tim, a horse run by Zenyatta’s connections. Also, Chase the Love and Securitiz give breaking their maidens another try. Both of them previously competed against Zenyatta’s son Cozmic One.

No matter how Taco, or Jess’s Dream, fares in this race, the young colt has a good life ahead of him. Fans will want to know about this horse for the rest of his life, all because of the Rachel Alexandra connection. His safety is secure, even if he loses every race going forward. What a great situation for a racehorse!

With news of Rachel Alexandra’s little brother Dolphus training in the mornings, and sister Samantha Nicole slated to run on the same Monday card in a stakes race, plus Rachel’s Valentina in Todd Pletcher’s barn, the whole family is together on the same racetrack. Six years after Rachel Alexandra’s Woodward victory, how fitting for her foals and other relatives to make Saratoga their summer home.

Saratoga Monday, August 24, 2015
Race 6 3:45 PM ET
1 All Rise Lezcano/Mott
2 Prodigal Ortiz/Zito
3 Jess’s Dream Velazquez/McLaughlin
4 Captain Tim Alvarado/Shirreffs
5 Godrevy Castellano/Albertrani
6 Sharm Saez/Lukas
7 Chase the Love Rodriguez/DeMola
8 Securitiz Ortiz, Jr./Jerkens
*Odds updated upon release.