09/12/2013 1:24PM

Doncaster: Galileo Rock may skip English St. Leger if ground is too wet


The racing world trained its collective eyes toward Doncaster for the 2012 English St. Leger Stakes, where Camelot was defeated by Encke in his attempt to win a rare English Triple Crown. This year’s Group 1 St. Leger – restricted to 3-year-olds, contested over a little more than 1 3/4 miles, and dating to 1776 – includes neither winner of the first two English classics, the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby, and attention will wane accordingly.

Eleven horses passed the final entry stage for the St. Leger, but Galileo Rock, who is among the favorites, will stay home in Ireland if the Doncaster course turns too wet, trainer David Wachman said this week. Galileo Rock never has run a bad race in five starts, and acquitted himself creditably in a pair of derbies this year, finishing third in the Epsom Derby and second in the June 29 Irish Derby, his most recent start.

Also in the St. Leger is the Epsom Derby runner-up, Libertarian, who could only finish eighth behind Galileo Rock in the Irish Derby after coming second to Ruler of the World in the Epsom Derby. Libertarian is one of three in the race for Godolphin, which also sends out Cap O’Rushes and Secret Number.

John Gosden has trained the St. Leger winner four times overall and in two of the past three seasons, and will try his luck this time with the Juddmonte Farms homebred Excess Knowledge, an unlucky second behind Cap O’Rushes last out in the 1 1/2-mile Gordon Stakes.