Test of the Champion and the Test

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Ed DeRosa

August 8th, 2012

Dreaming of Julia wowed Saratoga Race Course observers on Monday with a 10 1/2-length victory on debut, prompting thoughts not only of what she might accomplish as a two-year-old but also beyond. One tweet proclaimed, "I found my [Kentucky] Oaks filly" while another mentioned her as a threat for next year's Alabama.

And why not? By a Horse of the Year out of a Grade 1 winner certainly takes the "breed the best to the best and hope for the best" strategy and kicks it up a notch, but there's a long history of breeding the winners of the Belmont and Test Stakes. The former is the Test of the Champion, a 1 1/2-mile crucible that has been conquered by such future sires as Afleet Alex, Birdstone, Empire Maker, and Point Given this century. The latter is a seven-furlong sprint won in recent years by brilliant fillies such as Turbulent Descent and Indian Blessing.

Dreaming of Julia is by 1992 Horse of the Year and Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy out of 2007 Test winner Dream Rush, by Wild Rush. The A.P. Indy-Wild Rush cross isn't particularly popular, but the A.P. Indy-Test winner cross is.