08/05/2017 6:48PM

American Gal dominant in Test Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
American Gal drew off with authority to win the Grade 1 Test by 4 1/2 lengths under Jose Ortiz.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – American Gal proved her eye-catching victory in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park in her 3-year-old debut was only a harbinger of things to come when returning to New York to register an even more impressive 4 1/2 length triumph over the tepid favorite Faypien and eight other overmatched rivals in Saturday’s prestigious Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

American Gal had to overcome an eventful trip in the Victory Ride, but never had a straw in her path after breaking alertly from the extreme outside post under jockey Jose Ortiz in the seven-furlong Test. American Gal forced the pace from the outset while racing four wide down the backstretch, stuck her head in front nearing the furlong marker, then drew off with complete authority. Faypien was caught out three wide after prompting the pace just inside the winner and tried to run with American Gal through midstretch, but proved no match while outlasting Tequilita by a half-length to finish second.

Chalon, who like the top two finishers is also based on the West Coast, weakened to finish fourth after setting the early pace nearest the rail. She was followed, in order, by Vertical Oak, Your Love, Divine Miss Grey, Chanel’s Legacy, Minnie Blip, and Cursor.  

American Gal, a homebred daughter of Concord Point owned by Kaleem Shah, won 2 of 4 starts with trainer Bob Baffert at age 2 while also finishing second in the Grade 1 Starlet and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She ultimately joined Callaghan’s stable as a result of Shah and Baffert parting company at the start of the year.

American Gal covered seven furlongs over a fast track in 1:22.26 and paid $6.30.                                                                                              

“She came into this race so good off her last race and for once, the race went perfectly to plan,” said Callaghan. “She got a great trip and she dominated today.”

Callaghan said the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, to be decided at seven furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 4, would now be the major objective for American Gal.

“I think the Breeders’ Cup will be the goal,” said Callaghan. “She’s still very good at a mile, but seven-eighths is where she’s going to be spectacular. We’ll take her back home and think about the best way to get her there.”