Gallant Son keeps adding victories | Horse Racing
September 30, 2008 · Updated 12:08 PM
There are times when a horse wins a race, and there are times when a horse makes a statement. Gallant Son made a statement Saturday with a dominating six-length victory in the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs.
The Kentucky-bred colt won the 35th running of the 1 1/16-mile stakes in 1 minute, 41 3/5 seconds, 1/5 off the track record set by Positive Prize in 2004.
The 2-year-old colt is owned by Chris and Diane Randall of Bellevue.
Gallant Son moved to the top his class at Emerald this season by sweeping the 2-year-olds stakes division. The son of Malabar Gold won the 6-furlong $50,000 Premio Esmeralda July 19 and the 1-mile $50,000 Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association Lads Stakes Aug. 30.
The colt earned the Top Juvenile Male honors for the season following his stunning performance in the Gottstein Futurity.
With Leslie Mawing in the irons running out of the five hole, Gallant Son ran on the inside near the middle of the pack until the far turn.
“I knew I had a lot of horse on the backstretch,” Mawing said after the race. “At about the quarter pole a hole opened up and I took him through. Once he got the lead, I knew they would have to come catch me. “
Frank Lucarelli, the horse’s trainer, said he was cautiously confident going into the race. His main concern was Noosa Beach, winner of the 6-furlong Captain Condo Stakes Sept. 14.
“I thought [Gallant Son] could win it,” Lucarelli said. “But winning it the way he did was impressive. He split horses at the head of the lane and he was gone. I’m not kidding, he came into the winner’s circle and his nose wasn’t even flared. It was like he never ran a race.”
Lucarelli bought the colt for Randall at the September 2007 Keeneland yearling sale in Lexington, Ky., for $9,000, a bargain-basement price. Gallant Son has earned $113,038, winning four consecutive races and four of five on the season.
The trainer’s trademark has been his ability to discover diamonds in the rough that become winners.
“You look for a good, balanced horse that looks smart,” Lucarelli said. “And you have to get a little bit lucky.”
Luck, skill or both – he has made a habit of buying low and winning big.
Lucarelli also won two stakes this season with 3-year-old Fear No Evil. He bought the Kentucky-bred gelding at the 2006 Keeneland yearling sale for $15,000.
The gelding has earned $113,698 lifetime.
The next race for Gallant Son likely will be a stakes race in California this fall.
The 51-year-old Lucarelli said this may be one of the best horses he has trained in this nearly 30-year career.
He won the Gottstein in 1999 with No Curfew while Cascade Casey ran second and Shake Loose fourth. All three were trained by Lucarelli.
Shake Loose won two consecutive 3-year-old stakes during the 2000 season at Emerald Downs.
“Shake Loose in my opinion was a better horse than No Curfew, but he’d only had one race before the Gottstein that year,” Lucarelli said. “Gallant Son has the ability to be that and much better. The one difference is he can run all day.”
• The Randalls were the leading owners at Emerald Downs this season with 15 victories, winning at 19 percent and earning $365,457 in purses.
• Lucarelli was third in earnings among trainers with $653,160 and second in wins with 46. Tim McCanna won the training title with 66 victories, a track record.
Reach Dennis Box at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8209.