04/30/2004 12:00AM

Edgewood: Galloping Gal last to first

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Galloping Gal unleashed a powerful closing kick, rallying from last to first in the final quarter-mile to capture the $116,700 Edgewood Stakes on the turf for 3-year-old fillies.

Gingham and Lace, the second choice, had taken the lead entering the stretch and was ahead by 1 1/2 lengths at midstretch, but Galloping Gal ran her down in the final strides to win by a neck. Dynaville was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third. Vous, the 7-2 favorite, was fourth.

Galloping Gal ($17.20) had won three of her previous seven starts, but had disappointed in her last pair, at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland. Her trainer, Ken McPeek, said he believed the rain-softened course at Churchill on Friday would help his filly, and he credited assistant Helen Pitts for spending extra time working with Galloping Gal. In addition, McPeek removed the blinkers that Galloping Gal had worn in her last four starts.

"Last time, everything that could go wrong did go wrong," McPeek said of Galloping Gal's sixth-place finish in Keeneland's Appalachian Stakes on April 14. "She was nervous in the paddock, and got in traffic trouble."

Edgar Prado rode Galloping Gal, who covered 1 1/16 miles on a course rated good in 1:43. Galloping Gal, a daughter of Victory Gallop, is owned by William Carl.