Gallant Son swept past the leaders in the deep stretch and registered a three- quarters-of-a-length victory Sunday in the $80,250 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds at California’s Santa Anita Park.
Posting his first victory since the 2008 Gottstein Futurity, Gallant Son covered the one-mile on firm turf in 1 minute, 34.97 seconds and paid $18.20, $9.80 and $5.60. Enumclaw resident Frank Lucarelli saddled the winner for owners Chris and Diane Randall. It was the first Santa Anita stakes victory for Lucarelli and the Randalls.
With Alex Solis aboard for the first time, Gallant Son saved ground while racing in sixth place, swung out in the stretch and mowed down Wall Street Wonder and Leedstheway to win going away.
It was Gallant Son’s first race on turf and the grass prowess affords his connections with a whole new list of options, but Lucarelli was non-committal. He said the colt would remain at Santa Anita for upcoming stakes.
“I told the owners we had to find an easier spot for the horse and this race came up,” Lucarelli said. “Instead of being 20-1, I wanted to find a race where he’d be 8-5.”
Since being named Top Juvenile at Emerald Downs, Gallant Son had raced with a dark cloud above his mane. The colt ran well in the Breeders’ Cup and San Vicente Stakes, both on the synthetic track at Santa Anita, but came up empty in the check department. He was only beaten by 3 1/2 lengths while placing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup and lost by just 2 1/4 lengths while sixth in the San Vicente.
Between those efforts was his 2009 debut, a fifth in the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields, a route test in which Gallant Son tired badly after a brief rally into the stretch.
Gallant Son is back on his game now and the Pasadena victory was worth $46,950. A Kentucky-bred by Malabar Gold, Gallant Son is 5-0-0 in nine starts with earnings of $161,988. He has four stakes wins including three at Emerald Downs – Premio Esmeralda, WTBA Lads and the Gottstein Futurity.