Notes & Quotes From Aqueduct’s Notebook Stakes: Dream Bigger

(Dream Bigger wins Sunday’s Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct / Photo by Chelsea Durand & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger challenged pacesetter Moonachie up front, gained command out of the turn and held off Scilly Cay’s late charge to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Notebook by 1 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The sixth running of the Notebook, for juvenile New York breds, saw Moonachie break well and surge to the front, with Jose Ortiz having Dream Bigger forwardly placed in second position as the opening quarter-mile went in 22.95 seconds on the fast main track.

Dream Bigger, the 4-5 favorite who bested stakes company in his last start, bolstered his bid for a second consecutive win against stakes caliber, taking command with a half-mile in 46.63 before widening his lead straightening for home.

Jockey Jose Ortiz — Dream Bigger (1st):

“When he made the lead, he kind of played around a bit, that’s why we put blinkers on him to focus him up a bit more,” Ortiz said. “He looked real good and did everything I asked him. He switched leads today, so we’re happy about that. Much better.”

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez — Dream Bigger:

“When he made the lead, he kind of played around a bit, that’s why we put blinkers on him to focus him up a bit more,” Ortiz said. “He looked real good and did everything I asked him. He switched leads today, so we’re happy about that. Much better.”

“Mike [Repole, owner] wanted to go straight to that race but he was doing so well, I told him we should give him a race in between,” Rodriguez said. “We didn’t necessarily need to win but maybe get him a little tight and I think this race is going to do that for him.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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