The 4-year-old Dreams Of Thunder races at the Big M for the first time since last August’s Hambletonian when he competes in the first of two $20,000 Horse & Groom divisions Friday. The series, for non-winners of four races or $175,000 lifetime as of Dec. 15, continues March 21 and culminates with an $80,000 estimated final March 29.
Dreams Of Thunder starts from post six with David Miller at the lines for trainer Orjan Torstensson, filling in for Jonas Czernyson, who is still spending the winter in Florida.
Also in Dreams Of Thunder’s division are Ashes Cash, Amigo Ranger, Panamanian Hanover, Home Turf, Banker Volo, Crosbys Clam Bake, Hldontghttoyurdrms, and Jersey Boy. The second division is March Awareness, Magglio, Warrawee Olay, Bambino Glide, Explosive Action, Secret Ingredient, Cajole Hanover, and Time To Quit.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Dreams Of Thunder heads into the Horse & Groom Series with $82,810 in lifetime earnings.|
Dreams Of Thunder finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final, but the erratic performer showed signs of putting it together as the season moved into the fall.
The horse made breaks in eight of his first 11 starts for Green, who acquired the trotter as a 2-year-old in September 2012, but went off stride only once during his last 10 starts of the 2013 campaign. Over his last seven races, he picked up two wins, one second and two thirds. In one of the third-place efforts, in a late closer at The Red Mile, Dreams Of Thunder was timed in 1:53.1.
“He showed bright glimmers of hope as the year went on and ended doing very well,” said Green, who lives in Ohio and is the director/financier of a commercial airliner acquisition and leasing firm. “Jonas did a tremendous job and brought the horse along on the right path.
“This horse has grown on me. I think he has the potential to do well in this series.”
Dreams Of Thunder is a son of stallion Donato Hanover out of the mare B L Paid Vacation. As a 2-year-old, he won the $37,000 Review Stakes at Springfield.
Lifetime, Dreams Of Thunder has won seven of 35 starts and earned $82,810.
“We liked to say he is the little horse that gives you 70 percent effort 70 percent of the time,” Green said, laughing. “Now he’s 100 percent most of the time. I think this year he’s definitely finding his way. He just needed time to grow up.”
Dreams Of Thunder has won two of five starts this year, but went off stride in his most recent two outings. Green attributed the breaks to shoeing issues and too much time between starts. The horse qualified on March 7 at the Meadowlands, winning in 1:58.4 with Miller in the sulky.
Miller drove Dreams Of Thunder five times last year and picked up two of the horse’s three wins while never finishing worse than third.
Following the Horse & Groom Series, the plan is to send Dreams Of Thunder to the Yonkers Raceway/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series in April. From there, Green said the connections would “pick and choose” their spots through the summer. Green does hope to see the horse in the inaugural $100,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at the new Hollywood Park at Dayton Raceway in late October.
“He’ll have select opportunities through the summer, but we want to bring him along carefully,” Green said. “He’s maturing, but he still needs to be coddled.
“I think this (series) is a spot where he could start to shine,” he continued, adding with a laugh, “But I could be wrong; I’ve been wrong before.”