Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, May 30


Brendan Galvin, former assistant to William E. Morey, is off to a good start after venturing out on his own about 2 months ago. The longtime horseman has started 7 runners so far and earned two wins, both which came last weekend. On Saturday, first time starter Miss Lucky Lager was an impressive maiden special weight victor for Galvin, while 4-year-old gelding Palermo Style gamely held off a wall of challengers to win an allowance race on Sunday.

“I’ve been out on my own once before but it was for a short period of time and I only had five horses,” admitted Galvin. “I have 15 horses in my stable now, and have a good group back there.”

Galvin, a hands-on horseman, typically jogs, gallops and works as many of his horses as possible.

“Juan [Hernandez] rode Miss Lucky Lager last weekend [in her race] but he worked her one time,” said Galvin. “I breezed her in almost all of her works. I try to get on as many of my horses as I can. I get a good feel for them that way.”

Miss Lucky Lager, a first time starter by Tiznow, set the pace before drawing off down the stretch, winning the five and a half furlong contest by 3 lengths. She earned a 71 Beyer speed figure for her performance.

“She’s always trained like a nice filly,” said Galvin. “I’ve always liked her.”

One day later, 4-year-old gelding Palermo Style sat close to the pace before fending off a handful of pursuers in the final furlong of a one-mile and a sixteenth turf allowance event for 3-year-olds and upward. Julien Couton rode the California-bred son of Animal Kingdom to victory.

“He’s a nice horse,” said Galvin on Palermo Style. “Julien did a great job. He rode [Palermo Style] just the way we planned and luckily, it worked out.”

Galvin noted that he especially enjoys working with young horses.

“I take great pride in developing horses,” said Galvin. “I’ve got 2 babies right now.”

Make no mistake, though: Galvin can train any type of racehorse.

“I’m lucky to be doing what I love, which is working with horses,” concluded Galvin.


5-year-old gelding Grecian Fire stamped himself as one to watch in the second half of 2019 with an authoritative win in the Grade 3 $100,000 All American Stakes last Monday at Golden Gate Fields.

Ridden to victory by William Antongeorgi III, the son of Unusual Heat sat fourth in the first 6 furlongs of the one-mile race before powering to the lead at the 3/16ths pole, opening up by 3 lengths in mid-stretch, and finishing a length and a half clear of the late-running Builder. Grecian Fire is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who has won the All American a record 9 times.

“Between the last race and [the All American], he really picked up on his training,” said Hollendorfer. “His last work was excellent.”

Hollendorfer indicated that Grecian Fire is now possible for the $125,000 California Dreamin Stakes at Del Mar on July 26, a one-mile and a sixteenth turf race for California-breds.

With the All American Stakes win, Grecian Fire improved his lifetime record to 5 wins, 2 seconds and 4 thirds from 23 lifetime starts, with career earnings of $286,702. Grecian Fire is owned by KMN Racing, who also bred the chestnut gelding now known as racing’s newest graded stakes winner. Grecian Fire is a half sibling to Sneaking Out, a 3-year-old filly who most recently ran second in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita.


9-race programs and quality races are sprinkled throughout the overnights for Saturday and Sunday’s live race cards, which both have an approximate first post time of 1:15 PM.

Saturday’s program drew 2 allowance races: Race 4, a 6-furlong sprint on the Tapeta, and Race 7, a one-mile and a sixteenth grass race with 9 entrants. Race 3 is the second “baby race” of the year, a 5-furlong Tapeta dash for 2-year-olds, while Race 8 is a California-bred or California-sired maiden race for 3-year-old fillies.

Sunday afternoon features a number of interesting races, led by Race 7: a one-mile and a sixteenth second level allowance race on turf for three-year-olds and upward. The entrants include graded stakes placed gelding Many Roses, who wheels back in just 6 days after an off-the-board finish in the All American, stakes winner Respect the Hustle, 400k earner Unusually Green and hard knockers Alive and Well, Arch Prince, Calle Kingpin and Harvest a Storm. Race 6, beginning the Late Pick 4, attracts a field of 9 sprinters with plenty of backclass. Entered in the field is stakes winner Whatwasithinking, stakes placed Argosy Fleet and Sunset Dragunn and tough geldings Awesome Silver, Bullet Drill, Kiwi’s Dream, Malibu Alex, Mal Verde, Sweet River Baines. Race 8, a -bred or California-sired maiden race for 3-year-olds, drew a field of 11 and also catches the eye.

FINISH LINES: The Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on April 27 has already produced two stakes winners. S Y Sky, winner of the Camilla Urso, hit the wire first in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday. Ima Happy Cat, who finished second in the Camilla Urso, won the Hastings Stakes at Emerald Downs on Monday…River Boyne, who ran second in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on April 27, came back to run second again in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita on Monday. Bowie’s Hero, who finished off the board in the San Francisco Mile, also ran in the Shoemaker Mile and finished third…San Francisco Mile winner Blitzkrieg raced on dirt for the first time in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on Monday. He set the pace before fading, finishing off-the-board… California Derby third place finisher More Ice runs in the $100,000 Cinema Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile and an eighth on turf at Santa Anita this Sunday. Mike Smith has the call for Jerry Hollendorfer…Race 5 on Friday is Leg D of the Stronach 5 wager…Happy birthday to jockeys Francisco Duran and Cristobal Herrera, both whom turn a year older this week…$14,447 has been carried over into the 20 Cent Golden Pick Six pool on Friday. Race 3 begins the 6-race sequence…With two weeks left to go at the current Winter/Spring meeting, Jonathan Wong has wrapped up a fourth straight trainer standings title with 82 wins, 44 victories ahead of second place trainer Jerry Hollendorfer…Jockey Abel Cedillo holds a 120-102 win lead over Juan Hernandez in the rider standings.