11/19/2014 12:25PM

Breeders Crown: Gallie Bythe Beach gets second chance in 3YO Filly Pace

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Gallie Bythe Beach was scratched prior to a Breeders Crown start as a 2-year-old and gets a chance to make amends this year.

Jim Campbell was happy to see Gallie Bythe Beach repeat as a Breeders Crown elimination winner, but the trainer will be even more delighted if the parallels to last year end right there.

Last season as a 2-year-old, filly pacer Gallie Bythe Beach was found to be sore in the days following her Breeders Crown elimination, which she won with a world-record-equaling performance at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and was scratched from the final.

It ended a campaign in which Gallie Bythe Beach won six of 10 races, never finished worse than third, and earned $338,229 for Campbell and owner Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the Breeders Crown from the Meadowlands live on DRF!]

“You could have taken a chance on it, but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do,” Campbell said. “We did the right thing for her, and anytime you do that, you don’t regret the decision. But it was really unfortunate because she was really good in her elimination.”

The good news for Campbell and Co. is that Gallie Bythe Beach was really good in her elimination again this year. She won from post eight by two lengths over Major Dancer in 1:50 4/5, guaranteeing an inside starting spot for Friday’s $593,750 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She received post four and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Color’s A Virgin.

“It felt good and it looked like she was her old self again,” Campbell said. “It was a good win for all of us.”

Gallie Bythe Beach is a homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Galleria. Somebeachsomewhere won the 2008 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers on his way to Horse of the Year honors and Galleria, who also was trained by Campbell, won the 1998 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers on her way to the Dan Patch Award for divisional honors.

This year, Gallie Bythe Beach has won three of 17 races and earned $188,989. All three of her victories have come in her most recent six starts and she has finished off the board only once in her last seven races.

“The season didn’t start off very well,” Campbell said. “She was getting some rough trips and racing hard and not getting paid very well for it. We kind of started back from zero again, racing her from off the pace a little bit, and she seemed to respond that way.

“There are a lot of fillies out there that can go fast and if you get sped up a little bit early there are some waiting to get you on the end. But the way she was the other night, I think she could race any way you wanted to race her.”

If Gallie Bythe Beach is to win this year’s Breeders Crown, it will require beating a field that includes multiple-stakes-winner Color’s A Virgin, who brings a seven-race win streak to the final. Color’s A Virgin, who defeated Gallie Bythe Beach by 2-1/4 lengths in the Nadia Lobell Stakes on Oct. 31, won her Breeders Crown elimination by 1-1/2 lengths over Precocious Beauty in 1:51.

Color’s A Virgin, who began a sustained first-over bid from fifth place prior to the halfway point of her elim, starts the final from post five with regular driver Trace Tetrick and is the 6-5 favorite on the morning line. Trace’s brother, Tim, drives Gallie Bythe Beach.

“(The early fractions in the elimination) had me a little worried,” said Brian Brown, trainer of Color’s A Virgin. “And when Trace came, I was hoping tonight we could be second over, but you want to be second over behind the right horse. I’d rather be first over with her than second over behind the wrong one.

“In the last turn, I saw Trace tapping her a little. Generally he doesn’t have to do that. Tonight he had to tap her a little earlier than normal. He blew it off and didn’t think it meant anything. I was a little worried for a while, but it worked out well.”

Trace Tetrick and Color’s A Virgin have teamed for 13 wins and a second-place finish in 14 starts together.

“Even though we’ve had a lot of those first-over grinds, Trace has been so easy with her,” Brown said. “He hasn’t tried to win the race at the half or on the last turn, he’s waited until the stretch and then chased her home. He’s done a great job managing her. I have to give Trace credit because he doesn’t get in a hurry. When you’re forcing her to the front, she doesn’t like it. She just loves to pass horses.”

The Breeders Crown final also includes Uffizi Hanover, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers. Color’s A Virgin and Sayitall BB were supplemented to the Breeders Crown for $62,500, as was Weeper, who failed to advance to the final.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com

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