After shooting to the lead in the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds, which drew a field of 10, Coal Front cranked out fractions of :22.21, :45.21, and :57.07 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
Coming off the turn for home he looked free and clear, but American Pastime made a move on the outside to get a head in front near the eighth pole. Losing the lead only briefly, Coal Front was able to re-rally and edged away to score for owners Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners in a final time of 1:08.94 over a fast track.
The winner paid $3.60, $2.20, and $2.60 across the board as the 4-5 betting favorite. American Pastime finished second to return $3.40 and $3.00. Coupled in the betting, Coal Front's stablemate Petrov got up for third.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Coal Front came into the Gallant Bob off a fifth place finish in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, which was won by Practical Joke . Coal Front won his first three starts prior to that race, including a July 29 victory in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
In his first start, Coal Front drew away to a 6 1/2-length victory at Keeneland April 20 and followed his debut score with an allowance win at Belmont Park June 8 by 2 3/4 lengths. With a record of four wins from five starts, the colt pushed his earnings to $411,000.
Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly, Coal Front is out of the unraced Mineshaft mare Miner's Secret. Robert LaPenta paid $575,000 for the colt during the 2016 Ocala Breeders' Sale April 2-year-olds in training sale. He was consigned by Kirkwood Stables.