RYEHILL DREAMER FINDS COZY SPOT FOR RUNAWAY SCORE IN SANTA ANITA TURF ALLOWANCE FEATURE

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011) – After faltering in a pair of Grade II stakes races, Irish-bred Ryehill Dreamer ran away with Santa Anita’s $67,180 allowance feature on Friday to capture the mile-and-one eighth turf event by 4 ½ lengths in 1:46.22.

Joel Rosario sent Marsha Naify’s 5-year-old gelding to the front at the outset and the pair coasted through undemanding early fractions of 23.97 and 47.72. Ryehill Dreamer opened up by three lengths on the far turn and was never threatened.

Mobilized closed from fourth in the field of six to gain the second spot under Joe Talamo, one length ahead of Big Shot Syd with Patrick Valenzuela aboard. Rendezvous, the 9-5 favorite, checked in fourth.

As the third choice in the wagering, Ryehill Dreamer paid $7.60, $4.40 and $3. The runner-up returned $8.20 and $3.40. Big Shot Syd paid $2.60 to show.

It was Ryehill Dreamer’s fourth start in five months for trainer Julio Canani, who took over the 5-year-old gelding’s care after he had been sidelined with injuries for 22 months.

In his first start for Canani, Ryehill Dreamer wired his opposition by 3 ¼ lengths under Rosario in a one-mile turf competition at Hollywood Park last October. That was the last time Rosario had ridden the son of Catcher In The Rye. With his encore, Rosario took a one-win lead, 65-64, over Rafael Bejarano in the Santa Anita meet’s jockeys’ standings.

Ryehill Dreamer followed his Hollywood Park victory with efforts in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Citation Handicap and Santa Anita’s Grade II San Pasqual Stakes in January. Each time, he pressed the early pace only to weaken during the late stages.

“The horse is doing great,” Canani said following Friday’s score. “This is a really nice horse, and we want to win a stakes with him. I thought this race would be run the way it was. This jockey (Rosario) fits him really good.”

When asked if he had a particular stakes race in mind for Ryehill Dreamer, the ever evasive Canani replied, “I like my stakes medium rare.”

With the winning purse of $37,800 on Friday, the Irish-import’s career earnings rose to $186,807 from a record of 4-2-1 in 10 starts.

On Saturday, Santa Anita presents a 10-race program featuring the Grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds and the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational for older fillies and mares. The San Felipe serves as the final stepping-stone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. First post on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.

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