Instead, the connections have turned their attention to the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course. Trainer Patrick “Paddy” Gallagher confirmed his colt would try the second leg of the Triple Crown after breezing seven furlongs in 1:24.20 at Hollywood Park May 8. Yankee Bravo will ship to Maryland May 14.
“He didn’t have enough earnings to try and get into the Derby. It wasn’t meant to be so we’ll just try it here in the next one,” said Gallagher, who worked for Bill Shoemaker during the Hall of Famer rider’s training career. “The Santa Anita Derby was an exciting race to be in and a little disappointing. (Jockey) Alex Solis has great belief. He believes he can get a mile and eighth and further, so that’s why we’re going to try the Preakness.”
Yankee Bravo took an interesting path to the Triple Crown. Bred in Kentucky by Tommy Burberry and Barry Hay, he was sent to England to begin his racing career. After breaking his maiden last September on the turf at Redcar for Middleham Park Racing, he was purchased privately by a group that included Richard Duggan, Charles Winner, David Bienstock and Harlequin Stables. The owners sent him to California, where he proceeded to capture the Eddie Logan Stakes in his American debut on the Santa Anita turf.
After turning three, Yankee Bravo’s connections began thinking Derby and tried him in the Jan. 27 California Derby, a 1 1/16-mile test on the Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta surface. With Solis aboard, he won by a length. After that, in his lone try on a traditional dirt surface, Yankee Bravo finished third in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Out of the Royal Academy mare Vickey Jane, Yankee Bravo has earned $247,049. Solis, who won the 1986 Preakness aboard Snow Chief, has been given the riding assignment.
Born in Ireland, Gallagher came to the states in 1980. He became an integral part of Shoemaker’s barn after the jockey-turned-trainer became paralyzed in 1991. Gallagher trained his lone Derby starter, Domestic Dispute, in 2003 after Bienstock and Winner bought him a week prior to the race. Domestic Dispute finished tenth.