Dream Victory did not let the bullying of Michigan’s older males deter him from his goal, as he pulled the upset in Saturday’s $50,000 Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.
The three-year-old Victory Gallop gelding took his time out of the gate as Hot Chili assumed the early lead on the rail, followed closely by Meadow Wise. That pair battled for the lead as the field made its first trip down the stretch and headed into the turn, followed about a length behind by post time favorite Perfect Start and Bipolar Express. Hot Chili put a length on Meadow Wise through the first bend, but that margin was quickly made up entering the backstretch. The leader was soon out of run and Meadow Wise took the lead, a length over a dueling Perfect Start and Bipolar Express, after a half mile of :49.67.
As the field headed into the final turn, Meadow Wise was in front by a length and a half over Bipolar Express, Perfect Start and Romeo Again, who had come into contention on the outside. Romeo Again led the charge as the trio tried to swallow up the leader, but Meadow Wise repelled them through the turn and still held a length’s advantage coming into the home stretch.
Meanwhile, a swarm of late closers, who had been a double-digit number of lengths behind heading into the turn, began to mount their charge together on the outside. That group, consisting of Dream Victory, Meadow Vespers and Power of Titus moved neck-and-neck several paths off the rail and picked off the early challengers. With about an eighth of a mile to go, the closers approached the leaders. As they came down the stretch, Romeo Again lugged out into Power of Titus. This, in turn pinched Dream Victory into Meadow Vespers on the outside. Despite the interference, Dream Victory managed to stay on course and surged to the lead with under a hundred yards to go.
Dream Victory emerged at the wire a half length ahead under urging from jockey Jose Delgado. Behind him was a tightly bunched group of four horses led by Meadow Vespers, who took the runner-up spot by a nose over Power of Titus. Meadow Wise was a neck behind in fourth.
Dream Victory stopped the clock in the mile and one eighth race in 1:54.61 over a sealed muddy surface. He rewarded his backers with the field’s third biggest price at 18.60-to-one.
James Jackson saddled Dream Victory for owners Gene and Phyllis Gilmore. With the win in the Frontier, Dream Victory improved his lifetime record to five wins from 21 career starts and his first score in stakes company. His career earnings now total $87,330.
For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.
9 – Dream Victory (Jose Delgado) 39.20 / 20.60 / 11.20
11 – Meadow Vespers (Alvaro Hernandez-Lopez) 6.00 / 4.80
10 – Power of Titus (Octavio Bernal) 8.60
One mile and one eighth