The fifth race at Santa Anita Park Feb. 7 marked the highly anticipated debut of Bob Baffert-trained Bezos, but it was 20-1 shot Dream Shake who stole the show for trainer Peter Eurton.
“The things that he did in his first half-miles (works) were quite impressive, but we never (had) really tested him.” Eurton said. “We’ve always worked him against mediocrity most of the time and he’s done that pretty easily, so we were all optimistic about him, but you really don’t know until you put them in the gate against the quality (competition) that we had today.”
Campaigned by Exline-Border Racing, SAF Racing, and Richard Hausman, Dream Shake made his race debut in the 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight for 3-year-olds. The Twirling Candy colt ridden by Joel Rosario was sent off at 20-1, while Bezos was the 3-5 favorite.
Dream Shake raced eighth through an opening quarter-mile in :23.40 and was fifth as the half went in :46.19. Bezos pressed pacesetters Tivoli Twirl and Mr. Impossible in third and ranged up on them turning for home under Mike Smith.
Dream Shake gained on the leaders as they rounded into the stretch and kicked clear for a 4 3/4-length victory. Harbored Memories finished second and Mr. Impossible, who was second to the previous day’s San Vicente Stakes (G2) winner Concert Tour in his one previous start, held for third.
Bezos, an Empire Maker colt campaigned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm, and Robert Masterson, faded to seventh, 15 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
The final time on the fast track was 1:17.34.
“Against a field of this stature today, I would’ve been happy with anything fourth and above,” Eurton said of Dream Shake. “Now that he’s done this, it’s just a question of how he comes back. I think anything further, seven furlongs to a mile, would be very good. We’ll just try to enjoy this for now, but trust me, we’ll probably be looking for a race before the evening has ended.
Dream Shake was bred in Kentucky by Dunwoody Farm and produced from the Street Cry mare Even Song. He first sold for $32,000 to Foxpointe Thoroughbreds when consigned by Blackburn Farm to the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Exline-Border Racing, with Marette Farrell as agent, purchased him for $75,000 from Cary Frommer’s consignment to the 2020 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.
The dark bay took home $36,600 of the $63,000 purse.
“He’s such a smart horse,” Eurton said. “At the beginning he was a little bit green, he wouldn’t run inside, so we put blinkers on him. As soon as he started becoming aware of things, he did everything pretty handily.”