May 21, 2015
Named after a three-time Champion and Hall of Fame entrant, the Grade I Gamely Stakes is one of the most prestigious races for fillies and mares on the grass and as such, has been one by some of the best females since its first official running in 1976. Susan’s Girl, Wishing Well, Sabin and Estrapade were all superstars when they won in the 1970’s and 80’s while recent powerhouses include Hollywood Wildcat, Astra, Precious Kitten and Marketing Mix, just to name a few. At HRP, it all started in 2005 with multiple Grade I winner Terminally Pretty, and subsequent winners like Speed Talker, duel winner and Miz Liz and Hot Cop, who won last year in its first run at SA, have made this a huge stepping stone on the way to the BC F&M Turf. This year, a new winner will be crowned from amongst a field of five and all of them are stakes winners, including a pair of three-year-olds, with eyes on a huge prize and the lion’s share of the $300.000 purse offered for this nine-furlong test.
1-Girl Talk (Three-year-old black filly / Owner-Nolespan Racing)
Take out her two dismal efforts over less than firm turf and Girl Talk has three wins and a second in four starts and after that debacle at KEE, she rebounded in style to take down the Grade II Honeymoon Stakes as a perfect prep for this big event. Jockey E Trujillo gets back into the saddle off that 97-speed rating and with the inside stall, and some good early zip, she could be sitting pretty turning for home and have enough left to sprint home in what could be a career-defining effort.
Analysis-Talented sophomore has all the makings of a good thing
2-You Can Do It (Three-year-old bay filly / Owner-Mb Stables)
You Can Do It has made five straight starts at SA over both the dirt and the turf so she definitely has the homefield advantage and although she did finish second to her rival in the Honeymoon last time out, she faced pace pressure throughout and that might not be as big a factor against older rivals here. Precocious three-year-olds have a tendency to run their race early and if she can sit an easier trip, with more modest fractions, she might be able to outfinish her inside foe, although that still might not be enough to upset the huge mares outside of her.
Analysis-Relaxing more on the lead might help her chances
3-Fair Quest (Five-year-old chestnut mare / Owner-Glorify Stables)
Undefeated in three starts this year, and proven over this nine-furlong trip with a mammoth win in the Hillsborough at TAM two back, Fair Quest became a Grade I winner in the Wiley at KEE last time and looks like the Hot Cop type; underrated but huge with the going gets tougher. She has quietly put together an excellent career for owner Glorify Stables and now, has the chance to prove that her monster 101-speed rating from last time is no fluke, at a distance that will only enhance her closing abilities.
Analysis-Grade I winner will be charging at the inside speed
4-Tight Pockets (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-EasyMoney Stables)
There is no denying that Tight Pockets is a true monster of the turf, with a pair of Grade I wins and more than $1,500.000 earned on the grass in her stellar career, but her score in the Bewitched at KEE was a notch below her best and will probably need to be faster to compete with Fair Quest for the win. That being said, she has certainly put some huge races together over this SA turf course and if she runs back to her second in the BC F&M Turf last year, there will be no stopping her momentum late, especially since she is outside of her main rival and will have speed to her inside as a stepping stone.
Analysis-Powerful filly should improve off that KEE start
5-Tennessee Queen (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-Riggins Racing)
Someone has to be the longshot in the Gamely field and unfortunately, that distinction falls to Tennessee Queen, a minor stakes winner who rushed up late in both the Pucker Up and Marshuas River but ultimately failed to get the job done when it counted most. Now, she faces an extremely tough field on the square with a new jockey to boot and although she has been solid enough in her young career, it is probably not enough right now to make her a legitimate win threat against proven Grade I caliber fillies and mares.
Analysis-Could not win against easier so this might be a stretch
In reality, any one of the five entrants in the Grade I Gamely Stakes field could win over this nine-furlong distance but you really have to choose a proven commodity and that leaves with only a few options, and Fair Quest looks like the real deal off her massive score in the Wiley last time out. Tight Pockets is a multiple Grade I winner and is proven over this course so she gets a close second nod while Girl Talk did nothing wrong in the Honeymoon last time over these same conditions but now has to face older rivals with that being her only knock.
Win-Fair Quest (8/5)
Place-Tight Pockets (2/1)
Show-Girl Talk (5/2)
Triple T Racing
Categories: Grade I