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Jess’s Dream, the first-born of Rachel Alexandra, made his career debut at Saratoga in August 2015. He settled well into the back of 8-horse field for much of the race. As the field started to bunch together at the top of the stretch, he was flying on the outside of the field and started to pick off horses one by one. It was then just a question of him having enough time to get to the wire first; he seemed to have all the run in him. He looked to hesitate a little at the top of the stretch – a bit of a reminder that was his first start, no doubt.

For all that he appeared to still be trying to figure this racing game out by the top of the stretch, it looked like the racehorse he has all the potential to be was fully in evidence by the wire. The TVG analysts said “that is what you call pedigree showing up,” and clearly with such accomplished racehorses as Rachel Alexandra and Curlin as his dam and sire, he had an above-average chance to let that quality they hopefully passed on shine.

This was further echoed in another great race call by Saratoga race announcer Larry Collmus as Jess’s Dream ran to victory. “Oh he did it! Way to go, Curlin and Rachel!”

It was another sweet reminder of Jess’s Dream’s background, just as when his younger half-sister won to Collmus’ race call that included him mentioning “Rachel’s little girl.”

When I saw Jess’s Dream at the top of the stretch in this race, still looking a little green, it was reminiscent of “Taco,” the nickname he was given as a foal and that I still sometimes affectionately think of him as. When the racehorse in him took over and he won, it was almost like watching him morph fully into Jess’s Dream before our eyes, if that makes sense. It was like watching him go from the young untried horse romping at his famous dam’s side to having all the potential to make his own name known.

It is early yet, with such young horses as Rachel’s colt and filly, to say based on breaking their maidens first time out, what they will become. But the way they both won showed so much potential, and I look forward to the ride with both of them. It is sweet, indeed, to see both her foals win their first races in their first tries, and to see that they have a shot at picking up and carrying forward her legacy, even as formidable as it was. I am sure Stonestreet feels that same joy in seeing her foals excel first time out; even with all the excellent broodmares they have, Rachel is such a paragon of excellence and it is wonderful to see these first initial strides into having her pass that glory on to the next generation. I look forward to the day I see those two run in person as well.

There is, as of this writing, talk of the possibility of Rachel’s Valentina qualifying for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. If it’s not rushing her, I’d love to see her there at Keeneland. We’ll see how it unfolds, but isn’t that what is sweet about young horses? They have a huge potential before them to unfurl grand careers and make people dream.