The first foals produced by champion racemares Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, who won respective Horse of the Year titles in 2009 and 2010, are now juveniles, and both colts are currently in training at Saratoga. Rachel Alexandra's son, Jess's Dream, is by Curlin, while Zenyatta's son, Cozmic One, is by Bernardini.
Jess's Dream, clearly recovered from his 24-hour van ride the day before from Ocala, Florida, had his first experience on a real racetrack Monday morning, circling the Saratoga oval in an easy gallop under exercise rider Renzo Morales.
The two-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and super filly Rachel Alexandra brought a curious crowd out to the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, including Barbara Banke, the head of owner-breeder Stonestreet Stable, eager to see the colt's unveiling.
Jess's Dream emerged from his stall feeling full of himself, and he leaped into the air while being walked by assistant Trish McLaughlin.
At 9:38 a.m. (EDT), Jess's Dream went out on to the main track with a string of onlookers lining the rail on the backstretch.
"This is his first day," Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We're just happy to get him around there safe, and we'll start working. He galloped once around to get familiar with the surroundings. He went well."
McLaughlin has no timetable for Jess's Dream or any plans yet to work.
"We'll just see how it unfolds," he said. "I'll talk to Ian Brennan (at the Stonestreet Training Center in Ocala), who's had him in training and look at the worktab. He's feeling good, which is a good sign. He moved great out on the racetrack. We're honored to have the horse."
Banke was in a fine mood, seeing Jess's Dream and her other new babies: Good Pick Nick, a feisty Tapit named after her nephew; Ocean Night, by Curlin; and an unnamed baby who is a half to stakes winner Stopchargingmaria.
Curlin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, and Banke is extra excited about Jess's Dream.
Asked if she was relieved to get the first gallop on the big track out of the way, she said, "Yes! Especially since he was being such a good boy -- afterwards. After the high jump."
Minutes before Jess's Dream was tacked up, another famous unraced colt, Cozmic One, was out and about for his morning exercise.
Introduced to life at the track during a three-week stay at Belmont Park last month, he is continuing his education this summer in Saratoga.
"We couldn't wait to bring him up here," said trainer John Shirreffs, who also conditioned the legendary Zenyatta. "He's doing really well. Each day, he gets better."
Accompanied by Shirreffs on a pony, Cozmic One and exercise rider Kevlan Henry took a spin around Clare Court, the half-mile gallop track situated behind the main track along Nelson Avenue.
"We started going over there about three days ago," Shirreffs said. "I wanted to take him someplace where it's a little quieter and give him a little exposure walking through the barn area and down the road and everything. The track's a little more narrow, so if he wants to turn one way or another it's a little easier for him."
After walking for one lap on Monday morning, Cozmic One jogged once around, then jogged and walked around another lap before galloping a mile.
"We spend a lot of time warming up," Shirreffs said. "The first day, he was prancing on his toes and the second day he was really on the muscle because he knew what was coming. Today he was much more relaxed about it because he'd gotten over that part of it. For a young, high-strung horse he's coming along nicely."
Bred and owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, who also campaigned Zenyatta, Cozmic One has yet to have a timed workout for Shirreffs.
"He's gone a couple three-eighths that are like two-minute clips," Shirreffs said. "You're extra careful in the sense that he's a very valuable horse, but also knowing that he has to do everything everybody else does. He needs the same sort of exposure. He needs to get over the guy dumping the bucket and all that kind of stuff. You want to help him as much as you can without totally protecting him from that sort of exposure."
Shirreffs said Cozmic One's debut will draw a lot of interest.
"It's probably not as highly anticipated for us as it is for the fans," the trainer said. "Cozmic One is just learning how to become a racehorse. You feel like the sky's the limit, right? There's no limitation on the possibilities."
Shirreffs added that Stanwyck, runner-up in the Shuvee Handicap on July 27, would come back in the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign on August 22.