American Gal very much likes racing around one turn and loves New York, both of which were evident in Saturday’s $500,000 Test (G1) at Saratoga.
A tracking fourth under Jose Ortiz as Chalon set a contested pace of :22.42 and :44.53, American Gal made a four-wide bid for the lead turning for home, wore down the leader, Vertical Oak and 2-1 favorite Faypien approaching the eighth pole and drew off to win the seven-furlong fixture by four lengths.
A homebred racing for Kaleem Shah and trained by Simon Callaghan, American Gal returned $6.30. Faypien held off a closing Tequilita by a half-length for the place. Finishing fourth was Chalon, who was followed by Vertical Oak, Your Love, Divine Miss Grey, Chanel’s Legacy, Minnie Blip, and Cursor.
“We knew she was sitting on a big performance. She came into this race so good after her last race, and for once the race went perfectly to plan. She got a great trip and she dominated today. I think cutting her back to seven-eighths is her optimal distance,” Callaghan said.
American Gal now boasts a record of 6-4-1-1, $707,700. Trained by Bob Baffert at two, she won her 5 1/2-furlong debut at Del Mar by 2 1/4 lengths and the $71,000 Anoakia at Santa Anita over seven furlongs by 6 1/2 lengths. The ease at which she won those convinced bettors to make her a mild 4-1 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita, but she could only be third to Champagne Room after a wide trip from post 12. She fared better in her only other attempt at 1 1/16 miles, finishing a length second to Abel Tasman in the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos.
After Shah and Baffert parted ways earlier this year, American Gal was moved to the Callaghan barn. In her debut for the conditioner, she romped in the July 9 Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont by 4 3/4 lengths.
“We’ll take her back to California and think about the Breeders’ Cup and which way to go about but we’ll just enjoy today,” Callaghan said.
The Kentucky-bred American Gal is by Concord Point and out of American Story, a Grade 2-placed Ghostzapper half-sister to Grade 1 winners Reynaldothewizard and Seventh Street. All were produced by the multiple stakes-winning Holiday Runner.