Trainer Tracy Brainard has enjoyed an incredible 2009 season campaigning some of the sport’s top young pacers. She will look to continue that roll SAturday when she sends out the heavily-favoured If I Can Dream in the night’s richest event, the $265,000 American National Three-Year-Old Colt Pace.
Fresh off an easy win in the $542,060 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway last Saturday, the homebred Western Hanover colt comes to town sporting a record of 11-3-1 in 20 starts this season.
Shipped to 'Team Brainard' in July, 2008 by the powerful Bulletproof Enterprises Stable, If I Can Dream has really blossomed in his second season. The handsome bay boasts recent victories in the $600,000 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack and the $295,500 Tattersalls Pace at the Red Mile.
He has also shown that he can handle half-mile ovals with his Messenger and Art Rooney victories at Yonkers Raceway, a win in the Cane Pace at Freehold, an impressive score in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and a victory in a heat of the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio.
Further displaying his speed and versatility, If I Can Dream’s career mark of 1:49.4 was taken over the Meadows' five-eighths mile oval in an elimination for the Adios Stakes, a fact that is not lost on his driver Tim Tetrick.
"The strategy with this horse is to just keep going forward with him,” said the leading money earning reinsman in the United States. “It doesn’t matter what size track he’s on, his game is to try and make everyone else tired so they can’t out sprint him. He’s not a real big sprinter on the end of the mile, but he sure is gutsy and it’s awfully tough to get by him.”
Despite the rigors of a long campaign against all of the top sophomores in the country, Tetrick has also been impressed by the colt’s consistency and durability.
“He’s been very sharp right from the word go this year and amazingly he’s stayed that way the entire year despite having to pace some very tough miles against some very nice horses. Tracy Brainard and Josh Marks have just done an incredible job of keeping him at the top of his game.”
Although his work is not yet complete this year, his plans for next year have been finalized. The colt will be headed to Kentuckiana Farms of New York for the 2010 breeding season.
“We are extremely excited that Bulletproof Enterprises has made the decision to retire If I Can Dream to the farm where he was foaled and raised,” said Kentuckiana owner and farm manager Bob Brady. “We anticipate him becoming a very successful sire for us and could not be happier.”