Can Dreaming Out Loud Stay Perfect?

Published: July 17, 2020 11:29 am EDT

Keith Cullen always believed Dreaming Out Loud had ability, but he never expected the three-year-old pacing colt would be riding a six-race win streak into the second leg of the Prospect Series at Clinton Raceway on Sunday.

“Not necessarily, but I am enjoying it,” said the trainer with a chuckle. “I knew he had ability, it was just a matter of fine-tuning him a little bit.”

The fine-tuning came in a pair of overnight starts at Dresden Raceway in June, where the colt was an easy winner in 2:03.3 and 2:02. Then, in the first leg of the Prospect Series on June 21, Dreaming Out Loud powered to a 1:57.1 victory from Post 6. After that he added two legs and the $16,200 final of the Mark Austin Series to his resume, all over the Dresden half-miler.

A $10,000 yearling purchase from the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale, the son of Thinking Out Loud has netted Cullen and co-owner Chris Cain of London, ON $20,050 in his first six lifetime starts.

“He trained down good as a two-year-old and everything, but he’s not a real big, substantial horse and I just thought he’d be better as a three-year-old if we didn’t tear him up as a two-year-old,” said Cullen. “We were actually aiming at the early series in London, the City Of London. That was where I was aiming at starting and with the COVID we missed on that. And then it was a bit of a process getting ready for the sires stakes and a series right away.”

Dreaming Out Loud will look to extend his win streak from Post 2 in the first of two $7,300 Prospect Series divisions. Cullen said the inside post will be an advantage for Tyler Borth in terms of race strategy, but noted that the colt has won most of his races coming from off the pace.

“I’m getting a little older, and I’ve kind of always been it’s not where you start it’s where you finish,” said the London resident. “On the small track it’s always good to have some tactical speed but again, if you’ve got enough horsepower you can usually get there.”

Dreaming Out Loud will compete in Race 6 on Sunday’s program, with the other Prospect Series division going postward in Race 10.

In addition to the Prospect Series, Clinton Raceway also hosts the first Racing Under Saddle (RUS) event of the season. Six trotters and their riders will compete for $4,500 in the first race and Clinton resident Natalie Elliott is hoping Talbot Eh Plus finds some success in her debut under saddle.

“She handled really, really nicely in the qualifier and again I was pleased with her, she’d taken about six seconds off of her time to get qualified, and I just really look forward to riding her,” said Elliott, who will be making her 29th appearance in a RUS event. “And she’s one of the youngest horses in the race, she’s six. She’s racing against a bunch of older, experienced horses -- most of them have over $100,000 made and she’s just freshly out of conditioned/life classes -- so hopefully, maybe just her young freshness will be enough to handle those older experienced racehorses.”

Elliott will steer the Kadabra mare from Post 4 on Sunday and hopes her own experience will also stand Talbot Eh Plus in good stead in her debut.

“I’m more than comfortable out there now. You can kind of see how a race is going to set up and hope that your plan goes according to everyone else’s plan, and if not you have to have a plan B or C, or sometimes you just wing it. But most of the time you have a pretty good idea, just because there’s so few horses in Racing Under Saddle,” said Elliott, who also trains two trotters of her own. “This season we only have eight qualified to race under saddle, so it’s pretty easy to scan out your competition and get an idea of what their general race strategy is, horses and riders.”

Pam Forgie is the president of RUS Ontario and said there are currently eight horses and seven riders qualified to compete on the RUS circuit this summer, with three more riders and their horses in the process of qualifying. Riders are required to pass a written test and a physical, and demonstrate competence in three qualifiers, one of them within a pre-set time.

“It’s not easy to do, obviously. You have to be really fit,” said Goderich resident Forgie. “Most of the girls that are riding on Sunday have ridden previously, Kendall (Rahn) is new, she worked with me pretty much most of the winter. It’s nice to have three of us, and three horses from Clinton, racing in the first start here.”

Forgie stables at Clinton Raceway and two of the horses will hail from her barn, her own mount Massive Muscles who will start from Post 7, and All Out Henry, who will start from Post 6 with Karoline Nielsen in the irons. Clinton resident Kendall Rahn will make her RUS debut aboard local trotter Brydown Houston from Post 1.

Clinton Raceway’s Sunday afternoon program gets underway at 1:30 p.m. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Clinton Raceway website. To view the entries for Sunday's card, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Clinton Raceway.


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