A $600,000 purchase in April, Galilean became a stakes winner in his career debut, holding off Seven Scents by a neck to win the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Denise Barker and William Sandbrook and trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, the 2-year-old Uncle Mo colt showed good speed after being bumped at the start, took a short lead early in the stretch under jockey Drayden Van Dyke, drew clear and prevailed in 1:15.28 for the 6 ½ furlongs.
A California bred out of the El Prado mare Fresia, Galilean, who had trained sharply at Los Alamitos preparing for his debut in a race restricted to colts & geldings offered at any Barretts sale, returned $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10 as the 9-10 favorite in the field of six. He earned $56,000.
“He broke a step slow, but he recovered quickly and he showed really good speed,'' said Hollendorfer. “I didn't think they would go that fast (21.65 and 44.86 for the first half mile), but they did and he handled it just fine.
“I'm happy. He'll improve off that race. I've got a lot to work with because he's got really good size and carries really good weight.
“Terry Finley (president and chief executive officer of West Point Thoroughbreds) picked this horse and made the decision to buy him. I was lucky enough to get him to train.''
Van Dyke was impressed with the newcomer.
“He's a very classy horse and was well prepared,'' he said. “He got passed at the head of the stretch, but he dug back in and that was really impressive. That's a long stretch for a 2-year-old making his first start.''
Shortening up after breaking his maiden going one mile in his Los Alamitos debut Sept. 6, Seven Scents paid $3.00 and $2.20 as the 5-2 second choice while finishing one length in front of 6-1 shot Our Silver Oak. The show price on Our Silver Oak was $2.60.
Kid Koil, Big Impression and My Mandate completed the order of finish.
Entering the final day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet, apprentices Assael Espinoza and Heriberto Figueroa are tied for the lead in the jockey standings. Both have 12 victories. Tiago Pereira is third with 11 after doubling Saturday.
Espinoza and Figueroa, who are both 18, shared the riding title at the Summer Thoroughbred Festival earlier in the year with 12 wins apiece.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert leads the trainers with six wins, two more than Steve Knapp, Peter Miller and Doug O'Neill.
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