Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition

Interstate­daydream the class

- By Marcus Hersh

BALTIMORE – If the pattern holds, Interstate­daydream will win the $100,000 Allaire duPont Distaff on Friday at Pimlico.

Spring of 2022: Interstate­daydream lands an Oaklawn Park allowance race by more than eight lengths, clunks home a distant third as the favorite in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland, then comes to Baltimore and captures the Black-Eyed Susan.

Spring of 2023: Interstate­daydream finishes a fine third behind top-class Secret Oath and Clairiere in the Azeri at Oaklawn, then clunks home fourth as the heavy favorite in the Grade 3 Doubledogd­are at Keeneland. Now she has come back to Baltimore for the duPont.

In one area, the pattern will not hold. Interstate­daydream was a 6-1 shot in the Black-Eyed Susan. Friday, she’s an evenmoney favorite on the morning line facing just five foes in the 1 1/8-mile duPont.

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Interstate­daydream, a 4-year-old daughter of Classic Empire owned by Flurry Racing, regressed only four Beyer points, 93 to 89, in the Doubledogd­are, but her performanc­e felt worse than that. She tracked a moderate pace and always seemed to be spinning her wheels.

Interstate­daydream was off Lasix in the Doubledogd­are and is back on the anti-bleeding medication Friday, though Cox doubts the medication change, or the Keeneland track surface, had much to do with the filly’s defeat.

“The other day, I don’t really know, she probably just wanted to be more involved,” said Cox. “I like her a lot more going into this race.”

Cox points out, correctly, there’s not much pace in the duPont. Falconet has raced close, but her TimeformUS early pace figure is just 93, 13 points lower than Interstate­daydream’s 106. A sharp break and Geroux probably has his mount on a clear lead.

Falconet and duPont starter Butterbean finished second and first, respective­ly, in the Iowa Oaks last summer. Their trajectori­es have since diverged. Butterbean hasn’t come especially close to her Iowa Oaks form in two 2023 starts, while Falconet has steadily ascended. Very comfortabl­e racing 1 1/8 miles, Falconet was third over the trip in the Grade 3 Comely last November and sticking to the New York winter distaff program won the $145,000 Ladies on Jan. 1, another 1 1/8-mile contest.

Cut back to a one-turn mile Feb. 18 in the Heavenly Prize, Falconet finished second with a suspicious­ly low 76 Beyer; the race’s winner, Frost Point, returned to win the Doubledogd­are with a 93. Falconet on April 2 jumped up to a 90 winning the 1 1/8-mile Top Flight, though it must be noted she got a perfect trip pressing a slow pace in a short field.

Falconet figures the solid second choice, and if Le Da Vida can work herself into the exacta, it would provide a touch of value. Le Da Vida has been based at trainer Ignacio Correas’s Keeneland base since she came to America from Chile in 2022, but she traveled four times to race at Oaklawn over the winter. Facing horses the equal or better than those she meets Friday, Le Da Vida raced competitiv­ely without winning, finishing fifth behind Interstate­daydream in the Azeri, her most recent start. All the Oaklawn outings came at one mile or 1 1/16 miles, and Le Da Vida, a winner over 1 1/4 miles in Chile, might want more ground.

“I like her more at a mile and an eighth,” Correas said.

While Le Da Vida didn’t come close to winning the Azeri, for the first time in six North American races, Correas said, she changed leads in the homestretc­h. Correas said jockey Vincent Cheminaud steered Le Da Vida outside, then angled back in, the mare switching her leads without being urged on the second move.

“That would really help her, if she can do it again,” Correas said. “She’s training very well. If everything goes right, she has a chance.”

Maybe. But if the 2022 pattern holds, five of them are running for second behind Interstate­daydream.

 ?? DEBRA A. ROMA ?? Interstate­daydream returns to Pimlico a year after winning the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.
DEBRA A. ROMA Interstate­daydream returns to Pimlico a year after winning the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.

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