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KID DREAMS HEADS LOCAL CONTINGENT IN COMPETITIVE GRADE II TWILIGHT DERBY FRIDAY; DRYSDALE TRAINEE AGAIN TAKES ON PLETCHER’S CHARMING KITTEN AS 13 HORSES COMPETE AT 1 1/8 MILES ON SANTA ANITA TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2013)—Southern California-based Kid Dreams, trained by Neil Drysdale and an impressive 7 ¾ length winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby Oct. 5, heads a strong local contingent as he readies for a rematch with Todd Pletcher’s Charming Kitten in Friday’s Grade II, $150,000 Twilight Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita—a race that has attracted a competitive field of 13 sophomores.
The Twilight Derby, scheduled to be run as the fifth race on an 11-race program Friday, will set the table for five consecutive Breeders’ Cup World Championship events on Breeders’ Cup Day One at The Great Race Place.
In winning the Hawthorne Derby in Cicero, Illinois, over a soft turf at 1 1/8 miles, Kid Dreams earned a best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 103 and has worked twice for Drysdale since at his Betfair Hollywood Park base.
A turf allowance winner at Del Mar Aug. 18, Kid Dreams was then a close fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths, in the Grade II Del Mar Derby at a mile and one eighth on turf Sept. 1.
An Ontario Canadian-bred colt by Lemon Drop Kid, Kid Dreams has had a very productive year, going 3-1-2 from 10 starts. Owned by his breeder, Robert S. Evans, Kid Dreams has earnings of $258,205. He has been ridden by nine different jockeys in 11 starts overall and will be handled for the first time on Friday by English-based Ryan Moore.
Well-traveled, Charming Kitten is winless in his last seven starts, all at different racetracks. A Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred colt by Kitten’s Joy, his lone win this year came in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park Jan. 20.
He’ll be reunited with John Velazquez, who won on him at Gulfstream and hasn’t been aboard since a second place finish in the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes March 3.
Charming Kitten is 8-1-4-1 this year and has an overall mark of 12-2-5-2, with earnings of $494,000.
Trained by Jeff Mullins, Gabriel Charles was the 9-5 favorite in the 10-horse Del Mar Derby and rallied gamely from off the pace to win by 1 ¼ lengths under Mike Smith, who will ride the Kentucky-bred son of Street Hero back on Friday.
Owned by Sam Britt or Michael House, Gabriel Charles has two wins and a second from three tries on turf and is 7-3-2-0 overall. He has earnings of $289,800.
California-bred Gervinho, a fast finishing second to Gabriel Charles in the Del Mar Derby, rates a big chance on Friday for trainer Carla Gaines. Owned by Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool, Gervinho rallied to win the one mile turf Oceanside Stakes July 17 and he was an impressive winner of the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes run at one mile on grass on Oct. 8, 2012.
Following his Zuma Beach triumph, Gervinho ran a close fifth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3, 2012.
By Unusual Heat, Gervinho has a win and two seconds from three starts this year and is 6-3-2-0 overall with earnings of $269,140.
The complete field for the Grade II Twilight Derby, with jockeys, weights and morning line in post position order: Irish Surf, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 118, 15-1; Charming Kitten, John Velazquez, 118, 4-1; Den’s Legacy, Martin Garcia, 120, 10-1; Dice Flavor, Alex Solis, 122, 10-1; Rookie Sensation, Victor Espinoza, 118, 12-1; Dry Summer, Joel Rosario, 118, 10-1; Kid Dreams, Ryan Moore, 122, 3-1; Avare, Saul Arias, 118, 20-1; Procurement, Gary Stevens, 118, 15-1; Gervinho, Rafael Bejarano, 118, 6-1; Rising Legend, Corey Nakatani, 118, 12-1; Gabriel Charles, Mike Smith, 122, 9-2, and Outside Nashville, Edwin Maldonado, 118, 12-1.