Pegasus World Cup Turf international scouting report: Hurricane Dream

January 27th, 2023

As Frankie Dettori’s global farewell tour takes in Pegasus Day at Gulfstream Park, the renowned reinsman reunites with Hurricane Dream in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). Dettori almost lifted him to a Group 2 victory at Baden-Baden last fall, and the French-bred is a fascinating “X factor” in his U.S. debut for Graham Motion.

Hurricane Dream's pedigree

Hurricane Dream is by Hurricane Cat, who was a Group 3-winning juvenile for Aidan O’Brien. A son of Storm Cat and Hall of Famer Sky Beauty, Hurricane Cat is from the immediate family of Grade 1 winner Violence (sire of newly-minted champion and early Kentucky Derby [G1] favorite Forte). Hurricane Cat’s best offspring have come in South America, led by former Argentine Horses of the Year Puerto Escondido and Mirinaque. Puerto Escondido captured the prestigious Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini (G1), and Mirinaque placed twice in that “South American Arc.”

Hurricane Dream’s dam, Shalimara, is a daughter of the outstanding sire Siyouni whose headliners in recent years include Sottsass and St Mark’s Basilica. Although black-type is very thin through the first four dams, Hurricane Dream traces to a deep American family responsible for champions from Twenty Grand, the 1931 Kentucky Derby-winning Hall of Famer, to Afleet Alex.

Early career

Hurricane Dream won his first three starts. Launching his career in the French provinces for Mikaël Mescam, best known as a jumps trainer, the chestnut captured an about 1 1/4-mile maiden at Angers in his lone outing at two. He resurfaced at three to romp by four lengths in a conditions race at Lion d’Angers. Team Valor then bought into the Andre Brakha homebred, who remained perfect when stepping up to a marquee venue at Chantilly.

Taking a significant class hike over the same course and about 1 5/16-mile distance in the 2020 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) (G1), Hurricane Dream checked in ninth. He made some headway as though about to contend, but flattened out. Still, he was only two spots behind Order of Australia, the future Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) shocker.

Hurricane Dream regrouped on the drop to listed level in the Prix Nureyev at Deauville, where he justified 2-1 favoritism. Anchored at the rear on the inside, he smoothly advanced, steered to an outside path, and wore down the useful Dawn Intello on heavy going.

Favored again in the Prix du Prince d’Orange (G3) at Longchamp, Hurricane Dream suffered his first agonizing near-miss in a Group race. He muscled his way between foes, and delivered a hard-charging rally as his rider lost the reins, only to find the wire coming a fraction too soon. Back in third was Grocer Jack, the smart German-bred who’s added to his resume since joining William Haggas. Hurricane Dream’s sophomore season ended on an anticlimactic note when sixth versus elders in the Prix Dollar (G2) on Arc weekend.

Four-year-old season in 2021

Hurricane Dream was a troubled fifth in his 2021 comeback in a conditions race at La Teste de Buch. He was going for a seam that closed, and forced to take up. In any event, Mescam told Jour de Galop that he needed the race. Next time out in a Saint-Cloud conditions race, Hurricane Dream sat closer in a stalking fourth and stayed on to win well.

Hurricane Dream disappointed when last of seven in the La Coupe (G3) behind such solid operators as Iresine, Godolphin’s Magny Cours, and Grand Glory (before she reached her peak form). He was right in the thick of it before dropping out. Ironically, the La Coupe fourth was his future Motion stablemate Pao Alto, who runs in the W. L. McKnight (G3) on the Pegasus undercard.

Gelded and switched to trainer Francis-Henri Graffard, Hurricane Dream promptly won off a freshening in a Chantilly conditions race at his typical about 1 1/4-mile trip. The handwriting was on the wall a long way out, as he traveled conspicuously well and breezed from last to first. Under confident handling, he scored by a measured three-quarters of a length.

In his 2021 finale, Hurricane Dream tried about 1 1/2 miles in the Prix du Grand Camp at Lyon Parilly. Looming briefly, he didn’t stay the trip and reported home fourth behind Polish Horse of the Year Night Tornado. Godolphin’s Botanik was back in sixth, a rare blip on his record on the verge of his breakout season in 2022.

Hurricane Dream at five in 2022

Hurricane Dream reached a new level himself last campaign despite not winning, since he often placed in good company. Runner-up in the March 19 Prix Exbury (G3) in his comeback, he was a half-length adrift of Pretty Tiger, while holding off even-money favorite Skalleti. Hurricane Dream then regressed in the Prix d’Harcourt (G2), as Skalleti beat Group 1 heroes Sealiway and Mare Australis, and Hurricane Dream faded to last.

Hurricane Dream performed well on the cutback to a metric mile in the May 8 Prix du Muguet (G2), the first time he’d raced at anything shorter than 2,000 meters. He didn’t get the clearest of runs as he worked for a seam, then quickened, but not as fast as the filly Sibila Spain. A creditable third, Hurricane Dream held off favorite and defending champion Duhail in fourth.

Back up to his usual about 1 1/4-mile distance for another crack at the June 12 La Coupe, Hurricane Dream was a closing second to the veteran Monty who stole it on the front end.

Off a nearly three-month break, Hurricane Dream ventured to Baden-Baden for the Oettingen-Rennen (G2), where he went off as the 2-1 favorite with new pilot Dettori. He experienced another tough beat, going down by a head in a blanket finish at the end of the metric mile. Relaxed off the pace, he came under a ride before reaching the straight, but found plenty — after he finally saw daylight up the stands’ rail.

Graffard himself was later quoted as saying that he thought Hurricane Dream should have won. In his last outing Oct. 1, he made a more ambitious attempt in the Prix Dollar back up in trip. Among the outsiders at 29-1, Hurricane Dream finished seventh behind the up-and-coming Anmaat and Junko. He raced in proximity to them much of the way, tucked just behind Anmaat and flanked by Junko, but they picked up, and he didn’t. Yet a couple of notables, Lassaut and the aforementioned Botanik, ran even worse on the very soft going.

Hurricane Dream finds a new home in Florida

France Galop records his export as of Dec. 3, and Hurricane Dream popped up on the worktab at Palm Meadows on Dec. 23. After a trio of routine breezes, he blasted five furlongs Jan. 22 in a bullet :58.00 in company with stablemate (and Pegasus rival) Speaking Scout on the turf. They didn’t work around the dogs, as the others on the day did, but it’s an encouraging sign that Hurricane Dream is settling into his new environment.

Hurricane Dream has been holding his own against some useful company on the European scene, and you can make a case that the Pegasus conditions will suit. If a mile is a tad short of ideal, and 1 1/4 miles is his upper limit, 1 1/8 miles might just be his golden mean. He’s handled a range of going, but given his ability to quicken, the faster ground — and pace — of American racing have the potential to help him rise higher than he could at home. He has the credentials to outperform his 15-1 price on the morning line.