During the 1950s television show Your Hit Parade, Frank Sinatra would sing his theme song for the popular program that aired each Saturday night on NBC, Put Your Dreams Away.
The show and the theme song were favorites for the young Ione and Herbet Elkins then, but the song and the words now have an entirely new memory after Saturday’s Susan’s Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino and Race Course. Still together and now living in Hollywood, Fla., the Elkins saw their Putyourdreamsaway stalk a fast pace set by odds-on favorite Jewel in the Sky before taking the lead at the top of the stretch and winning the $125,000 Susan’s Girl by seven and one-half lengths with jockey Juan Leyva aboard.
Trained by Bill Kaplan for the Elkins, Putyourdreamsaway finished the seven furlongs in 1:26.52 after the quick early fractions of :22.58 for the first quarter-mile and :45.85 for the first four furlongs set by Jewel in the Sky. Candy Coded Kisses, winner of the first division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, the Desert Vixen, over runner-up Putyourdreamsaway at Calder Jul.28, was second and long shot Capriccio Blue was third. Final time was 1:26.52 for seven furlongs. Rains from tropical storm Isaac deluged the track Saturday morning and the track was rated as sloppy and sealed.
“The big difference was the time between races,” Hebert Elkins said in the Calder winner’s circle. “After [Putyourdreamsaway] broke her maiden [Jul. 15 in a Calder maiden special weight], she only had 13 days before the Desert Vixen. Today she had a full 28 days between races and that made the difference.”
Elkins then began to talk about his celebration plans if the Florida-bred daughter Bridlewood Farm stallion Put It Back should happen to come back and win the the $300,000 My Dear Girl division Oct. 13 at Calder.
“Every Saturday night, Ione and I would watch this show hosted by Frank Sinatra, Your Hit Parade,” Elkins continued. “And at the end of each show, he would sing Put Your Dreams Away for another day and I’ll take their place in your heart. So if [Putyourdreamsaway] wins the $300,000 [My Dear Girl], I might just have an entire band here at the track singing that song in the winner’s circle.”
While Putyourdreamsawy was impressive at the end of the race, the beginning had some challenges.
“[Putyourdreamsaway] broke great, but she kind of got shoved into the fence by horses on the outside, and that kind of forced my hand a little because at that point I had to ask her just a bit so she could get closer,” Leyva said. “But once I got out of that situation, she was really comfortable and got into a nice stride. After I got her in a good spot, I just had to wait and be patient with her,” Leyva said. “And when it was time to run, she responded. She’s a real nice filly.”
Putyourdreamsaway has now won two races with a second in three career starts and the $75,175 first-place check in the Susan’s Girl pushed her bankroll to $115,975. Bred in Florida by Karen and Greg Dodd’s Southern Chase Farm in Williston, Fla., Putyourdreamsaway is also a $20,000 graduate of the 2012 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company April Sale of Two Year Olds in Training from the breeders’ consignment.
Putyourdreamsaway returned $11.00 for a $2 win ticket, $5.00 to show and $3.40 to place. Candy Coded Kisses paid $6.00 to place and $4.60 to show and Capriccio blue paid $12.40 to show. Pace setter Jewel in the Sky was fourth.
As a part of the Florida Stallion Stakes, the $125,000 Susan’s Girl was restricted to fillies sired by nominated Florida Stallions and was run along with the Affirmed division that is restricted to all foals by those stallions, also on Saturday. Both divisions were of the 10th annual Juvenile Showcase program, a rich day of racing dedicated entirely to 2-year-olds with an estimated $550,000 in stakes purses.
There are three pairs of divisions in the series culminating with the open In Reality division and the My Dear Girl for fillies at 1-1/16 miles at Calder Oct. 13. Each of those races will offer a purse of $300,000.
Photo by Coady