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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sackatoga Stable’s Niko’s Dream swung four-wide off the far turn and drew off to post a 13/1 upset in Saturday’s $75,000 My Charmer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from the rail under Junior Alvarado, Niko’s Dream settled into a mid-pack stalking position while continuing to save ground into the clubhouse turn and down the backstretch.
Piedi Bianchi outhustled Our Bay B Ruth and the 3/2 favorite Lady Lawyer for the lead before posting opening fractions of :23.41 and :46.79.
Tipped out to rally toward the front in the far turn, Niko’s Dream raced outside of a similarly-moving Art of Almost and the two straightened for home on even terms in front.
Niko’s Dream strode ahead powerfully with a furlong remaining and kept her advantage through to the wire, where the Barclay Tagg trainee crossed 1 3/4 lengths clear and completed the 1 1/16-mile good turf route in 1:41.82.
“I had a great trip,” Alvarado said. “The whole way around, I was happy where I was. I made my move when I wanted to and had to make sure she was in the clear on the outside. I’ve been riding her for a while, so I knew she likes to make a nice move on the outside. It worked out perfect today.”
Tuned, who was a step slow from the gate and forced to trail early, closed to take second over Art of Almost and Piedi Bianchi.
Our Bay B Ruth, Lady Lawyer, and Great Sister Diane completed the order of finish.
Madita was scratched.
Niko’s Dream’s win was her first at the stakes level and improved her overall record to 17-4-5-2. The New York-bred 4-year-old Central Banker filly has now earned $280,900.
Niko’s Dream returned $29.20 to win, $12.80 to place, and $6.80 to show. Tuned brought back $4.80 to place and $3.40 to show, while Art of Almost paid $4 to show.
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