Galloping Gal displayed her fondness for the grass Thursday at Keeneland, winning the $113,200 Jessamine County Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the turf.
Ridden by Brice Blanc, the daughter of Victory Gallop charged between tiring pacesetter Speedy Sonata and Peace Symbol in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length. She ran 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:44 2/5.Galloping Gal became the first stakes winner for Victory Gallop, the 1999 champion older horse and 1998 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner.
Peace Symbol held on for second, 1½ lengths in front of third-place Homemaker. It was three-quarters of a length back to fourth-place Penny's Fortune.
Galloping Gal won for the third time in four career starts. In her most recent outing, she finished second to Be Gentle in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on Oct. 3, her only start on the dirt.
"She was a lot more alert today," said Blanc, who has ridden Galloping Gal in three of her four outings. "I was very confident all the way. She's got a lot of talent and a lot of ability."
The winner is owned by William Carl and trained by Kenneth McPeek. She paid $4.20, $2.80 and $2.40 as the 11-10 favorite. Peace Symbol returned $5.20 and $3.80 and Homemaker paid $3.80.
"She's just a lovely filly," said McPeek. "We'll try the Golden Rod at Churchill next."
The Jessamine County previously was run as the Green River Stakes. Carl has now won the race three times. Prior to Thursday's running, he won with Runnaway Dream (1997) and Shes Just Super (1991).
Keeneland's attendance Thursday was 8,501.
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