Breeders’ Cup Runner Dreamer’s Disease Headlines Sunday’s NYSSS Great White Way

After running sixth in last month’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Dreamer’s Disease will make his Empire State debut and cut back to seven furlongs as part of Sunday’s $250,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Great White Way for eligible state-sired 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Racetrack.

One of three stakes on the finale of the 18-day fall meet at the Big A, the 38th running of the Great White Way will be joined by the $250,000 NYSSS Fifth Avenue for juvenile fillies and the $100,000 Garland of Roses for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Owned by Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith, Dreamer’s Disease started his career on dirt when eighth in July at Ellis Park. Trainer Robertino Diodoro moved the Kentucky-bred Laoban colt to turf for his next two starts, resulting in his second-out win on Aug. 8 at Ellis before running off the board in his stakes bow in the More Than Ready Juvenile on Sept. 7 at Kentucky Downs.

After posting a 4 1/2-length sore in his return to the main track on Oct. 3 at Keeneland, Dreamer’s Disease stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time in the most challenging race of his career in the Breeders’ Cup. Serving as the pacesetter in leading the talented field of 14 through the opening three ports of call, Dreamer’s Disease tired in the stretch but still earned a personal-high 80 Beyer Speed Figure for his sixth-place effort in a contest won by Essential Quality.

“He’s training well and bounced out of the race really good,” Diodoro said. “We were going to give him a break but with this race here, and how he came out of it, we figured to give it a shot. The distance sets up well, especially coming off a mile and a couple of ticks, I think it’s going to suit him quite well.”

Dreamer’s Disease shipped from his base in Kentucky to New York on Wednesday.

“He flew up well and went out to the track just a little while ago, so I think it’s all-systems-go right now,” Diordoro said.

Diordoro said his charge has improved physically since starting his career this summer and has given the connections positive signs after posting victories on both turf and dirt.

“He’s versatile and long-term I think that’s going to come in quite handy,” he said. “He’s filled out more and that’s helped him a lot, and mentally, he’s matured. He’s a little bit of a high-strung horse, but he’s starting to mature over the last couple months.

“When the dust settles, I think he is a dirt horse,” he added. “Time will tell in his career, but anytime you have a horse that’s versatile that can run on both surfaces, it definitely helps.”

Jockey Dylan Davis will pick up the mount from post 7.

Mathis Stable’s Uno was an impressive 3 ¾-length winner in his debut on Nov. 12 over a muddy and sealed Aqueduct track. Like Dreamer’s Disease, Uno is also by Laoban, and the Todd Pletcher trainee registered a 76 Beyer for his win.

A $255,000 purchase at this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sale, Uno was bred in New York by Spruce Lane, Built Wright, Lynn Farm, Will Robbins and Copper Beach et al. Jose Ortiz, aboard for the victory, will have the return call from post 11.

Stakes-winner Hold the Salsa won the Bertram F. Bongard against fellow New York breds going the Great White Way distance on October 2 at Belmont Park. Stretched out to a mile on Big Sandy on Oct. 24, the Hold Me Back colt ran fourth in the Sleepy Hollow for owner and trainer Richard Lugovich.

Making his first appearance at the Big A, Hold the Salsa, who won his debut on July 12 at Belmont, will depart from post 8 with Junior Alvarado aboard.

Horn of Plenty will have the services of Kendrick Carmouche, who entered Thursday’s live racing action as the meet’s leading jockey as he looks to secure his first New York riding title. Trained by Mike Maker, the Emcee gelding won his first start on October 18 at Belmont before running fourth in the six-furlong Notebook over an Aqueduct main track rated good on Nov. 14. Horn of Plenty drew post 9.

Windy Nations, a first-out winner in August at Monmouth Park in a maiden-claiming sprint, will be making his first start since a runner-up effort against claiming company on Nov. 12 at Churchill Downs for trainer Mike Maker [post 12, Manny Franco].

Rounding out the field is The King Cheek, who broke his maiden at third asking on Nov. 9 at Parx for conditioner Jamie Ness [post 4, Luis Rodriguez Castro]; It’s Gravy, looking for his first win after two runner-ups and third-place effort in three starts for trainer Kelly Breen [post 2, Joel Rosario]; New York One, who has won two of his last three starts for trainer James Chapman [post 3, Ferrin Peterson]; Market Alert, third in the Notebook on November 14 for trainer James Ryerson [post 6, Jose Lezcano]; Prospect Mountain, a first-out winner on November 15 at Aqueduct for trainer James Ferraro [post 1, Benjamin Hernandez]; Jacoba, who will be making his first U.S. start after three races at Woodbine for trainer Jeremiah Englehart [post 10, Jorge Vargas, Jr.]; and Jacks American Pie, stepping up to stakes company after four maiden special weight appearances for trainer Karl Grusmark [post 5, Charlie Marquez].

The Great White Way is slated as Race 8 on Aqueduct’s nine-race program, which offers a first post of 12:20 p.m. Eastern.

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