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Dream Debut For Rachel Alexandra Colt
Jess's Dream, the first foal of 2009 US Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, scored an impressive victory when making his highly anticipated debut in a 9 furlong maiden at Saratoga on Monday. Rachel Alexandra is now two for two as a broodmare after her 2YO daughter, Rachel's Valentina (Bernardini), scored a brilliant debut win over 6 furlongs at Saratoga racecourse earlier this month. Jess's Dream, by 2007 and 2008 US Horse of the Year Curlin, stepped slowly from gates and immediately drifted well back. The 3YO was allowed to find his feet by jockey John Velazquez and at one point in the back stretch trailed the field by some 12-lengths. As the field entered the home straight, Jess's Dream was still at least five lengths off the last horse with any hope of a winning debut looking forlorn. But in a performance reminiscent of his famous mum, the colt gradually caught the field and then let down with a tremendous burst of speed down the outside to overpower his rivals in the final 50m to score by one length on the line. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said after the race: "It wasn't easy to get him to the races. We've had him for a year, but it's taken a year to get him here." He added: "It was like a grade I. It was pretty special because of who it is, and listening to the fans clap. It's great to win here at Saratoga with this horse because they appreciate him." Jess's Dream is owned by Barbara Banke's Stonetreet Stables and was named after Bankes' late husband, Jess Jackson.