Sports

Kentucky Derby could be in Plateau horse’s future Gallant Son running right on track

Gallant Son, trained by Enumclaw’s Frank Lucarelli, swept the 2-year-old colts and geldings division at Auburn’s Emerald Downs in 2008 and is ready to start the 2009 season. - Photo courtesy Emerald Downs
Gallant Son, trained by Enumclaw’s Frank Lucarelli, swept the 2-year-old colts and geldings division at Auburn’s Emerald Downs in 2008 and is ready to start the 2009 season.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Emerald Downs

Gallant Son is back on the track at Golden Gate Fields in Berkley, Calif., preparing for the 2009 racing campaign, which could mean a run for the roses in the Kentucky Derby.

The son of Malabar Gold will turn 3 years old Jan. 1 and trainer Frank Lucarelli, a resident of Enumclaw, plans to find out how good his colt can become.

After sweeping the 2-year-old colts and geldings division at Emerald Downs in Auburn during the 2008 season, including a dominating victory in the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity Sept. 27, Gallant Son ran in the 1 1/16-mile Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Oct. 25.

With regular rider Leslie Mawing in the irons, the Kentucky-bred colt settled on the rail and finished in seventh place in the Grade I championship, four lengths off the winner Midshipman.

Lucarelli sent the colt to a San Diego farm to rest and play following the Breeders’ Cup race. The trainer brought the colt to Golden Gate about three weeks ago to begin working toward his next race.

The plan is to enter Gallant Son in the 1 1/8-mile $200,000 El Camino Real Derby, Grade III, scheduled to run Feb. 14 at Golden Gate.

Lucarelli said he might run the colt first in the 1 1/16-mile California Derby Grade III that heads to post Jan. 17 at Golden Gate.

“I’m trying to decide if he will be fit for the California Derby, or whether to work him into the El Camino,” Lucarelli said. “It’s always best to get a race into him and there will be some pretty tough horses coming into Golden Gate for the El Camino.”

Depending on the colt’s performance in the El Camino, Lucarelli and owners Chris and Diane Randall of Bellevue, Wash., will decide whether to put the horse on the trail to the Kentucky Derby. The derby trail leads to the ultimate prize for 3-year-old thoroughbreds, the Triple Crown, which includes the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Lucarelli purchased Gallant Son for the Randalls at the Keeneland, Ky., September sale in 2007 for $9,000. The colt has earned $113,038 with a 4-0-0 record from six starts.

Reach Dennis Box at dbox@courierherald.com or 360-802-8209.

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