The Gamely Stakes (Grade 1)- $400.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
May 30, 2022
With it being a holiday weekend, the virtual racing excitement continues into Monday with some big races, many of which happen here at SA. In the Gamely Stakes, which is a Grade 1 event for female turf horses, a field of five will be vying for the winner’s share of the $400.000 purse. That’s a purse that has bounced around between $250.000 and $500.000 over the years, and this is the first time that $400.000 is the amount offered, an increased of $100.000 over last year. That race last year was won by Proud Eights, and now the six year old mare will try to become the second horse to win this race in back to back years. If you go back to 2010 and 2011, when the race was held at HOL, Miz Liz won each for Dynark Stables. Unfortunately, while she does have some breedings left, she proved to be ineffective as a broodmare so her legacy was never carried on. We’ll be able to get right to Proud Eights as we look through the field, so here they are!
#1- Proud Eights (Mb Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- While the horse and the race are the same, the details surrounding her are different. She is now trained by Mb Stables, who picked her up in private sales last September for $750.000 from Estero Farms, and her jockey last year was R Bejarano. Usually, when a horse goes to Mb Stables, we are accustomed to seeing improvement, but Proud Eights has only managed one victory after the sale, coming in the race immediately after, the Grade 3 Waya. Since then, she’s only really been close once. Even in an open allowance, she was only fourth. However, time and time again, I have seen horses like this, who won a specific race the year prior and may be seeing a form decrease, bounce back in the familiar territory and either win again, or come close. Don’t rule her out.
#2- Ewa Beach (The American, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- Claimed by the trainer for $40.000 from Smokey Stover, a trainer that does not usually let a female horse get away, but she has thrived with The American. The promise was always shown under Smokey, and she was on a three race winning streak at the time of her claim. The American put her in the Grade 3 Marshuas River Stakes a month later, and she would get the win and continued to put out strong performances, even if not wins, for the rest of the year. This got her into the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, and she cashed a check there as well, placing third. 2022 started well with a win in the Pegasus F & M Turf, and she comes off a third place effort (missing by less than a length) in the Grade 1 Wiley last month. Much to like here.
#3- Cp Dark Pain (Threshold, ridden by J C Ferrer)- To this point, Cp Dark Pain has had a successful career, maybe not with the accolades of the two starting to her inside, but she has won six of 16, including the LAPN Distaff in February. In her last start, she placed fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Margarita. Very good, but not jaw dropping accolades. The thing is, those are all on the main track. For the first time in her career, Cp Dark Pain will be running on the turf and this is a tough field to be doing that against. If she’s been dying to run on the grass forever, and this is overdue, then she could have a shot here. You have to go back to December of 2021 to see a public turf work. Tough call, but go for it if you like risk. Or dark pain.
#4- All By Myself (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by E Jaramillo)- Over her career, All By Myself has done a fantastic job hitting the board, doing so in 15 of 25 races, and if you add in check-cashing fourth place finishes, it’s 21 of 25. Winning? Well, that’s been a little different, as she has only done so three times over her career. In February, she snapped a win drought by capturing the Endeavour BC, a Grade 3 at TAM and won it by two lengths. I think I may have covered that one because I remember being interested in seeing how she would build off that impressive result. It hasn’t really happened for her, but the trainer isn’t backing down from his placement of the mare either, as that last start was in the Grade 1 Wiley.
#5- Classic Princess (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by E T Baird)- Picked up in private sales in June of 2021 for $125.000 as she had been showing some signs of breaking out. Maxmillion worked some of his turf magic on her and put the finishing touches on that break out, getting a graded win a month later in the Grade 3 Matchmaker, and then continuing to bring her up the ladder. She’d win the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes in September before her biggest victory to date, the Grade 1 Taylor at WO. This got her into the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, and while that didn’t result in a check, she has done so in each of her three races to this point. The Gamely will be her first Grade 1 since the BC and she’s ready to be a factor here.