Dreaming Of Amy is a 6-year-old Illinois-bred miss who is owned and trained by Matias Ruiz, with Luke Plano being her regular partner in the sulky. She prefers to do her best work from off the pace, best illustrated last week when she rallied from fifth at the head of the stretch to win going away by 1-3/4 lengths.
It was the fifth snapshot in the last seven appearances for the Ruiz colorbearer, and in the process she evened the score with archrival Bobby Baccala, who weakened to fourth on this occasion after having pacesetting duties. He had won the previous match-up with roles reversed and Dreaming Of Amy showing the way to the stretch on that occasion.
“I had her last spring and she did pretty well,” Ruiz noted. “She started out at $2,500, then she won at $4,000 and again at $6,000. At that point she started racing in the Open because there weren’t any other spots for her. She never won at that level, but she was competitive.”
During the hiatus, Dreaming Of Amy shipped East and was unable to make much of an impact while out of the Ruiz barn. A return to California in November proved to be the right tonic, however, as she has picked up right where she left off at the end of the previous meet.
“She definitely likes the track and she got her form back pretty quickly,” Matias said. “She wants to come from the back and sometimes the race isn’t going to set up for that, but Luke knows her real well and does a great job.”
Bobby Baccala is gunning for a little revenge after faltering as the favorite last week. The George Reider trainee, who races for his conditioner and Dave and Rob Haness, could easily turn the tables with James Kennedy guiding.
Sire Stakes, Open pace to hold the spotlight
A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old trotting and pacing distaffers and a $6,000 Open pace will be the highlights on the Friday night Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo.
A 13-race card is on tap with the Sire Stakes for pacers going as the second event on the evening and the Open pace slated as the third. The trotting Sire Stakes will be contested as a non-betting contest prior to the betting portion of the program.
Pismo Beach gets top billing in the pacing stakes for the combination of owner and breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, conditioner Bob Johnson and driver “Mooney” Svendsen. The daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels closed 2012 with a pair of solid, big-money scores to assume head of the class status in this division.
In both her Nov. 23 and Dec. 22 stakes decisions Pismo Beach played the role of stalker to the lane and then exploded late for Svendsen to get the victory. She will be challenged by La Madawna De Rosa (Luke Plano), Twentyone Gunes (Scott Cisco), Drawing Dead (Williams Hernandez), Diva Las Vegas (Steve Wiseman) and Little Anna Mae (Tim Maier).
Only three mares will do battle in the trotting Sire Stakes. Silverlode will have the rail for Vickie and Steve Desomer; Vari Forgetful will go postward for driver-trainer Bruce Clarke and Sue Boyce will guide her distaffer, California Crush.
Looking at the Open pace, Liberio Pacheco will send out a strong duo in One And Only, with Scott Cisco at the controls, and Split Ticket, with Luke Plano handling the lines. The gutsy mare Haggin Oaks, for James Kennedy, the Nat Tremblay-trained Cycle Power and Lady’s Art from the Junior Wilkinson shedrow will complete the cast.