May 19, 2022

American Gal headed to Test off easy Victory Ride score

American Gal wins the Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont Park on Sunday, July 9, 2017 (c) NYRA/Joe Labozzetta/Adam Coglianese Photography

Kaleem Shah Inc.’s homebred American Gal grabbed command of Sunday’s $144,000 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park soon after the start and never looked back en route to an effortless 4 3/4-length score under jockey Flavien Prat.

The duo, sent off the 6-5 favorite, established splits of :22.48, :45.85 and 1:10.75 before finishing 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:17.38. American Gal paid $4.50 for the win while making her first start for new trainer Simon Callaghan.

Vertical Oak, the 9-5 second choice, just held second by a neck over Noble Freud, who in turn had five lengths to spare on Golden Mischief. Too Much Tip rounded out the order under the wire.

American Gal began her career in trainer Bob Baffert’s shedrow, breaking her maiden by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar last August and scoring a 6 1/2-length victory in the Anoakia Stakes next out at Santa Anita Park. She finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) a month later and closed out her juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the Starlet Stakes (G1) last out on December 10.

Now running for Callaghan, American Gal captured her sophomore bow in this spot to improve her record to 5-3-1-1. The Concord Point filly has banked $407,700 lifetime.

Kentucky-bred American Gal is out of the Grade 2-placed Ghostzapper mare American Story, who is a half-sister to Group 1-wining millionaire Reynaldothewizard and dual Grade 1 queen Seventh Street. This female family also includes Royal Ascot Group 1 winner Undrafted.

VICTORY RIDE QUOTES

Kaleem Shah, owner American Gal, winner

“She had worked brilliantly coming into this race, so we expected a big effort. I would have been surprised if she had lost. I’m so pleased with the race and hopefully we go on to bigger and better things. Her next target will be the (August 5) 1 Test ([G1] at Saratoga).”

Flavien Prat, jockey American Gal, winner

“(Trainer) Simon (Callaghan) did a great job and she was ready to run today. She stumbled a bit from the gate, then after that when she was on the lead around the turn, she was ready.”