Edited Press Release
Stoneway Farm’s Dream Dance is still under consideration for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Neil Howard saddled the Afleet Alex filly to a three-quarter length victory in Keeneland’s 1ST race on Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile allowance.
“We took advantage of the conditions (of the race),” the conditioner said. “We knew we had to have another race if we were going to the Oaks. Fortunately, she ran well.”
Dream Dance had finished second in her previous start in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and earned 40 points toward the nine-furlong Kentucky Oaks.
She also ran second in the Rags to Riches S. and third in both the Golden Rod (G2) and Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill Downs last year as a two-year-old, though she was elevated to second in that latter race via the disqualification of another rival.
With 44 points total, the bay filly stands 11th in the Road to the Oaks standings and is assured of a spot in the starting gate for the race that is limited to the top 14 point earners that enter the race.
“We are not sure about the Oaks,” Howard admitted. “It is all different this year with Songbird, and I am not at all rushing to face her. We will see how it goes. The Oaks is possible; not out of the question.”
Songbird, the champion two-year-old filly of 2015 and undefeated in seven starts, looms as the overwhelming favorite for the Oaks.
Dream Dance photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography