Elysea’s World Runs Down Favored Stablemate Dream Awhile In Matchmaker

Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing’s Elysea’s World outran her favored stablemate Dream Awhile in the final sixteenth of a mile to give trainer Chad Brown the exacta in Sunday’s Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes. Sent off as the 4-1 third choice, Elysea’s World and jockey Jose Ortiz came flying late to nail Dream Awhile on the wire by a head. The 5-year-old daughter of Champs Elysees covered nine furlongs over Monmouth Park’s firm turf in 1:47.70.

“In a situation like this (being first and second) you’re hoping for a dead heat – and we almost got it,” Brown said. “These fillies are so close. They were equal weights today, which made a difference. Both of them I though got good trips. They were a nose apart. They’re that close in ability, so it was nice to see tem both on the wire. Elysea’s World really had a bad trip last race. She was wide and it just didn’t work out for her. She had trained very well coming up to this race, as did Dream Awhile. They both fired their best shot.”

Viva Vegas took control at the start to lead by as much as three lengths through fractions of :24.79, :48.31 and 1:11.69. Special Event and Broken Bridle kept close company behind her, while Dream Awhile tracked from fourth, about four lengths off the leader. Meanwhile, Ortiz and Elysea’s World tracked Dream Awhile from fifth, mirroring her every move down the backstretch.

Rounding the far turn, Dream Awhile easily ranged up alongside the leaders to take command, and pulled away by several lengths in mid-stretch. But Ortiz hadn’t given up on Elysea’s World, and she responded to his urgings with a last-gasp effort that saw her hit the wire a neck in front of her stablemate. Dream Awhile had to settle for second, while Special Event took third over Viva Vegas.

“I’m glad we got the win,” Ortiz said. “To be honest, when we passed the three-eighths pole I didn’t think we could catch the other filly because Joe (Bravo, aboard Dream, Awhile) was going pretty easy. I was already trying to get close to him and he was already passing horses on the outside very easy. When we passed the quarter-pole I still didn’t think I would get there. I kept riding my horse, riding my horse, and when we got to the sixteenth pole I thought, `Now I’ve got a shot.’ My filly got a little bit of momentum and we got clear on the outside and Chad’s other filly backed up a little bit and we just got it. She gave me everything she had.”

Bred in Ireland by Haras D’Haspel, Elysea’s World came to the United States after only breaking her maiden in France. The filly placed in multiple graded stakes between 2016 and 2017, but finally got her first graded win in February of 2018 in the Suwannee River at Gulfstream. Overall, Elysea’s World boasts a record of 5-5-3 from 20 starts for earnings of $500,000.

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