Shirley and Anthony Camilleri celebrated an exciting win with an Ontario homebred on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. REASON TO DREAM, an aptly named four-year-old son of Old Forester – Dreamy Moonlite by Dance to Destiny, was all heart winning a maiden special weight at 6 furlongs on the dirt for the Camilleri’s CamHaven Farms and trainer Steve Flint. The chestnut cleared his six rivals early in the $57,000 dash and held on to win by a head in a sharp 1:10.46 under rider Mitchell Murrill. Backers of Reason to Dream, who was making only his second start since his October debut at Woodbine, were rewarded with 27-to-1 odds.

The victory for CamHaven was unofficially the second for the stable since it brought a string of horses to Fair Grounds, but Criminal Intent was disqualified from a win in a maiden special weight in December 2023.

Reason to Dream is the first foal to race for the mare Dreamy Moonlite, who won four of 15 races and was stakes-placed three times. The daughter of Dance to Destiny earned over $256,000 and retired late in 2014.

CamHaven, located in Caledon, is a multi-faceted training centre and equine rehabilitation farm. Shirley Camilleri raced horses under her Malta Manors banner before switching over the stable name to CamHaven last year.


Al and Bill Ulwelling are having a banner meeting at Fair Grounds with recent wins by Canadian-bred filly PENNICK and on Feb. 12, their Prince of Wales Stakes winner VELOCITOR won an allowance/optional claiming race at 1 mile and 70 yards by a neck at 16-to-1. Bred in Ontario by the Ulwellings, Velocitor was making his second start on a traditional dirt track (the ‘Wales was his first dirt try) and he stalked the pace, engaged in a stretch battle and won a three-horse photo under jockey David Cohen. Gary Scherer trains the Ulwellings’ horses at Fair Grounds, while Kevin Attard trains the Woodbine string.

Velocitor ran the distance in a fast 1:42.34 for a career-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure, according to Daily Racing Form. The four-year-old dark bay is by Mor Spirit from Polar Plunge by Successful Appeal. He has a record of five wins in 13 races and $483,526 in earnings. His three-year-old full sister Casby has placed third twice at Fair Grounds this winter for owner and trainer Angelle Carter.

As for Pennick, the filly will attempt to remain undefeated as she makes her third career start in the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) on Saturday at Fair Grounds. Having proven herself in a juvenile sprint at Woodbine, Pennick will try a route distance for the first time in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep.

“I think she can go long,” Scherer said. “I think she’ll run hard – it’s just that she’s lightly tested. We’re going to give it our best go.”

Scherer is currently sitting tied for eighth in the trainer standings with 10 wins at a 22% clip. The Ulwelling father-and-son team account for seven of those and sit in third on the owner’s side of things.

“I’d like for her to not (go to the lead),” Scherer said. “I don’t think she’s matured enough to know how to relax as much as she should. But if she’s out on the lead, I’m not going to worry too much because she doesn’t like stopping.”

Jareth Loveberry is named to ride Pennick, who was purchased for $200,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from breeder David Anderson’s Anderson Farms Ontario, Ltd.


BILL THARRENOS sent out two winners at Gulfstream on Thursday. BRINGER OF RAIN, an Ontario-bred by Twirling Candy owned by Gus Diakoloukas, won for $16,000 claiming at 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta. It was the five-year-old’s fourth start for his current interests. He was claimed on Thursday by Leon King Stable and posted a career-best 82 Beyer Figure.

Tharrenos came back to win with Bull and Bear Stables’ MEHLEK, a Kentucky-bred by Mshawish who took a one mile starter allowance on the grass. The four-year-old colt posted a career-best 84 Beyer Figure in this 1 3/4 length win, his fourth in 13 races and third for his current team.

In related news, Dr. Vicki Banks is the breeder of GIANT GIZMO, a 10-length winner at Mahoning Valley for owner Richard Davis on Thursday. Banks, partner of Tharrenos, bred the six-year-old in Ontario and the gelding is by Giant Gizmo from I’m Good With It by Where’s the Ring.