Greeley's Galaxy Faces Uphill Climb to Derby

Greeley's Galaxy Faces Uphill Climb to Derby
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Greeley's Galaxy's Illinois Derby win no automatic ticket to the ball.
(from Santa Anita notes)
B. Wayne Hughes could easily wind up on the outside looking in with Greeley's Galaxy for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Hughes, who owns the 9 ½-length winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II), has committed to pay $200,000 to supplement the son of Mr. Greeley to the Run for the Roses, but the horse would be on the also-eligible list. Hughes wouldn't know whether he's in the race until the post position draw on May 4.

Greeley's Galaxy earned $300,000 for his Hawthorne win, enough to make the Derby field, but it may not matter, Hughes acknowledged.

"I would only pay if I can get in," Hughes said Thursday. "You can't just pay $200,000 and be in even though we have enough graded earnings. The horses already nominated have preference so our chances of getting in are probably 50-50 or less."

Eighty-three-year-old Warren Stute, who trains Greeley's Galaxy, would become the oldest trainer to saddle a Derby winner should Greeley's Galaxy win.

"I think we'd be the only one waiting with $300,000 worth of (graded) stakes wins, (so) we'd be preferred probably of the ones that weren't nominated," Hughes said. "The ones that were nominated, even if they're maidens, have preference over us. We'll have to wait until the draw on but it doesn't look good.

"If we don't make the Derby, for me, I would just go to the Preakness, but I haven't spoken to Warren about it. We're planning on going to the Derby right now."

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