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Gallant Son returns to action on Saturday in $100,000 California Derby


January 14, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Gallant Son wins the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs on September 27, 2008
(photo by Erin Palmer, courtesy of Emerald Downs)
Gallant Son, six-length winner of the Gottstein Futurity last September, returns to action on Saturday in the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

Gallant Son and regular rider Leslie Mawing will break from post-position six in the field of seven 3-year-olds. Post time for the mile and one-sixteenth Derby is approximately 4 p.m.

Unraced since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last October, Gallant Son has trained well at Golden Gate Fields, but trainer Frank Lucarelli cautioned that a more important objective is the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at a mile and one-eighth on February 14.

“I’m not saying we’re not trying and he can’t win,” Lucarelli said, “but the important thing is to get a good race into him.”

Owned by Chris and Dianna Randall of Bellevue, Washington, Gallant Son won four races and three stakes at Emerald Downs in 2008. The Kentucky-bred colt by Malabar Gold is now being given the opportunity to prove he can compete with some of the West’s best 3-year-olds.

The Cal Derby lineup includes: Chocolate Candy, a Jerry Hollendorfer-trained son of Candy Ride who finished third in the Grade I Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park last month; Feisty Suances, a front-runner who finished second in the California Breeders’ Championship at Santa Anita last month, and Merus Miami, an undefeated Friends Lake colt who scored in the one-mile Gold Rush at Golden Gate Fields on December 20.

The field, in post-position order (with jockeys):

1 Adriatic Moon (Frank Alvarado)
2 Revoluta (Roberto Gonzalez)
3 Feisty Suances (Chad Schvaneveldt)
4 Merus Miami (Alex Bisono)
5 Chocolate Candy (Russell Baze)
6 Gallant Son (Mawing)
7 Axel Foley (Alonso Quinonez)

All horses carry 121 pounds.