Going into today, Dreaming of Frank (Debt Free, by Fly So Free) had done his best work going two turns on the Gulfstream turf. He broke his maiden in $35,000 maiden claiming company there at a mile in May of last year, returned the next month going 7.5 furlongs against $50,000 N2L company, and won there as well.
After that, the going got tougher. N1X allowance-optional types next out proved far too tough, and then he was well beaten in three subsequent attempts in the “N3L or three years old” condition.
Dreaming of Frank then showed a spark of life when cut back to five furlongs at Gulfstream Park West on October 25.
Instead of his usual frontrunning style, he rallied from off the pace, and got up to finish second in $8,000 N3L/3yo company. It was good enough that when he came back to flagship Gulfstream after a two month break, he tried sprinting again. He was last against $6,250 N3L company in a six-furlong sprint over slop in January. He returned against $16,000 N3L types in a turf dash the next month, but brought up the rear once more.
Perhaps the sprint race in October was a fluke. Perhaps Dreaming of Frank needed to go back to basics. He returned to a turf route today, in a 1 1/16 mile turf race for $16,000 N3L company at Gulfstream.
That proved a wise placement.
Dreaming of Frank drew the rail. As soon as the gates opened, Elvis Trujillo sent him along, and he had opened up a bit of daylight on the field by the time the field passed the wire for the first time. Through the clubhouse turn, Dreaming of Frank opened up, stretching his margin to about two lengths.
Down the backstretch, the field caught up. Corinthian Summer, particularly, made an early move. He came up on Dreaming of Frank’s outside, and stuck his neck in front. Trujillo handled it well. He kept Dreaming of Frank going, but did not push and rush his mount immediately. They were head and head into the far turn, and through much of it.
But, turning for home, it was Dreaming of Frank who had more in the tank. Corinthian Summer kept trying, but lost ground. Favoured Smokey Brown, who brought up the rear in the early stage, fired a rally down the stretch. It was enough to get past Corinthian Summer…but Dreaming of Frank held safe by a length and a half.
After some trial and error, and a brief spate as a sprinter, it was good to see Dreaming of Frank find his best form again. Once again, the waters get deeper from here…but hopefully he once again finds enough to stand up to the challenge.