ELMONT, N.Y. – Bode’s Dream went wire-to-wire to win Thursday’s 105th running of the $200,000 Astoria at Belmont Park, the second of a trio of stakes races on opening day of the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the 2-year-old gray daughter of Bodemeister bounded into the lead and zipped through fractions of 22.13 and 45.56 seconds with Golden Mischief in pursuit.
Swinging into the stretch with a two-length advantage, Bode’s Dream shook off that challenge and was never threatened as she hit the wire 2 ¾ lengths clear of China Grove.
Her winning time for 5 ½ furlongs was 1:03.36.
“It was pretty easy,” said Velazquez. “She broke well, went right to the lead and just held it. She did everything well. We were a little bit concerned being on the lead since speed is not holding but they’re babies. She broke well and I left her alone and she ended up running all the way around.”
A $300,000 yearling purchase who carries the colors of St. Elias Stable, Bode’s Dream returned $6.30 for a $2 win bet and earned $111,000. A winner at first asking in May at Gulfstream Park, the filly has now amassed $135,000.
“In these type of races everyone’s sort of in the same boat; everybody for the most part has run one time and won,” said Pletcher. “There was a very strong headwind down the backside but as I told Johnny in the paddock, ‘maybe don’t overthink it; we’re only going five and a half, you’re not running that far into the wind’. She just caught a flyer at the start and was right on the lead right away. Johnny did a smart thing and took advantage of it.”
Checking in third was Anna’s Bandit, followed by Golden Mischief, Lightning Dove, Harlands Thunder and R Precious Stones. Olive Branch and Summer Sally were scratched.