Illinois Derby (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

GREELEY'S GALAXY (CH h, 122 lb) $300,000
Mr. Greeley —Ascot Starre , by Ascot Knight
B—Wendy Clay, KY.; O—B. Wayne Hughes; T—Glen Stute

Monarch Lane (CH g, 122 lb) $100,000
Maria's Mon —Surprising Fact , by Known Fact
B—W. S. Farish, KY.; O—Edgewood Farm; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Magna Graduate (DK B/ h, 122 lb) $55,000
Honor Grades —Peacock Alley , by Fast Play
B—Ramon Rangel, KY.; O—Elisabeth H. Alexander; T—Patrick B. Byrne

Margins: 9½, 2, 6½. Others: Rikman 122($30,000) , Win Me Over 122($15,000) , Daddy Joe 122 , Medigating (FR) 122 , Kansas City Boy 122 . Winning Jockey, Kent J. Desormeaux.

Veteran owner B. Wayne Hughes, whose Greeley’s Galaxy won the April 9 Illinois Derby (gr. II) by 91/2 lengths at Hawthorne, is a relative newcomer when it comes to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He started two earlier Derby runners, Atswhatimtalknbout (with partners) in 2003 and 2-year-old champion Action This Day in 2004, and watched them run fourth and sixth, respectively. Now, he figures to be back with Greeley’s Galaxy, who will have to be supplemented at a cost of $200,000.

Catesby W. Clay’s Runnymede Farm, where Greeley’s Galaxy was foaled and raised, occupies a special spot in Kentucky Derby history. Clay’s grandfather, Runnymede founder Ezekiel “Zeke” Clay, bred 1905 Derby winner Agile and co-bred 1896 Derby winner Ben Brush.

Greeley’s Galaxy was bred by Runnymede and Clay in partnership with his son and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Wendy Clay. The last-named worked as a summer intern for The Blood-Horse during her days at Michigan State University. Joseph Clay’s brother, Chris, is the former editor of TBH MarketWatch. He resigned his position to study for the priesthood at St. Meinrads College in Indiana. The current Runnymede operation bred 1995 Kentucky Derby runner-up Tejano Run.

Runnymede general manager Martin O’Dowd remembered Greeley’s Galaxy as “a nice, attractive looking colt of medium size.” Greeley’s Galaxy first went through the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale as part of the Runnymede consignment and was bought back for $70,000. Hughes bought him for $220,000 at the 2004 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training from Robert N. Scanlon, agent for Runnymede.

Hughes, whose filly Thatswhatimean ran third in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita the same day as the Illinois Derby, owns Spendthrift Farm near Lexington. Greeley’s Galaxy’s sire, Mr. Greeley, stands at Spendthrift. The stallion division, managed by Bruce Kline, is not part of the Spendthrift operation that is owned by Hughes.

Greeley’s Galaxy’s dam, Ascot Starre, is kept at Runnymede. She produced a Smart Strike colt March 31 and is booked to Malibu Moon. Plans call for her yearling colt by Broken Vow to sell at the Keeneland September sale. Hughes is part owner of Malibu Moon, who stands at Castleton Lyons Farm near Lexington.

Mr. Greeley has sired 23 stakes winners. His fee is $35,000.—D.S.