Galilean Looms Large in King Glorious Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 14th, 2018

There’s no such thing as a “can’t lose” proposition in the sport of horse racing, though if we’re being honest, #2 Galilean looks to be pretty close to a certain winner of Sunday’s $100,000 King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos. This one-mile race for California-breds—won in 2013 by the future Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome—has attracted seven entrants, but on paper Galilean is a clear standout. Conditioned by the Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Galilean opened his career in the 6 ½-furlong Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Los Alamitos and fired off an eye-catching effort, dueling for the lead through fast fractions before gamely hanging on to win by a neck.

Any horse that can win a stakes in its debut surely has a bright future, and Galilean followed up that effort with a narrow defeat in the seven-furlong Golden State Juvenile Stakes at Santa Anita, in which he missed by just a neck against the Bob Baffert-trained Cruel Intention while leaving the rest of the field sixteen lengths behind.

With BRIS speed figures of 87 and 97, Galilean has simply run faster so far than his six rivals, none of which have posted a BRIS speed figure higher than 85. With Flavien Prat in the saddle, Galilean figures to be tough to beat in the King Glorious, even while stretching out around two turns for the first time.

If anyone can challenge the favorite, it’s probably #7 Our Silver Oak, who finished third by just 1 ¼ lengths in the Barretts Juvenile Stakes. Subsequently, the son of Unusual Heat gave turf a try in a one-mile allowance race at Del Mar and ran well to finish second by a half-length, so the distance of the King Glorious shouldn’t be an issue. He’ll have Drayden Van Dyke aboard while returning to dirt.

Galilean’s Hollendorfer-trained stablemate #6 Tivan, winner of the Golden Nugget Stakes over the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields, will make his dirt debut in the King Glorious, though a bigger question than the surface switch might be the distance—Tivan could only finish a tiring fourth in the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes last time out.

The distance will also be a new challenge for #1 Principe Carlo, winner of a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming race at Del Mar last month, and #3 Feeling Strong, a maiden winner going six furlongs at Del Mar in September, but unraced since then. Completing the field are the last-out maiden claiming winners #4 It’s Five Somewhere and #5 Poppy’s C Note.

The King Glorious Stakes is the seventh race on the card, with a post time of 3:17 p.m. Pacific.