06/05/2009 11:00PM

Gabby's Golden Gal all the way in Acorn


ELMONT, N.Y. - Shaking loose soon after the start, Gabby's Golden Gal shook off Doremifasollatido on the far turn and remained clear to win Saturday's $300,000 Acorn Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths over 9-10 favorite Justwhistledixie.

Gabby's Golden Gal had set the pace in the Kentucky Oaks and must have been heartened to see that Rachel Alexandra - who had originally been pointed to the Grade 1 Acorn after her Oaks tour de force - was not among those chasing her down the backstretch through fractions of 22.61 and 45.39 seconds.

Gabby's Golden Gal widened her lead to the quarter pole after running six furlongs in 1:09.01 under Javier Castellano. They remained safely clear from Justwhistledixie, despite drifting out steadily through the late stages.

"She does break out of the gate, and I took advantage," Castellano said. "The track is speed today, and the rail is very good. I knew handicapping the race there was a lot of speed . . . but I broke on top, and the filly gave it everything she had."

Gabby's Golden Gal, trained by Bob Baffert, ran the mile in 1:34.79, just .74 of a second off You's 2002 stakes record. She paid $28.40.

Justwhistledixie, who had won five straight races, held second by three-quarters of a length over Casanova Move, who had a neck on Livin Lovin.

"This is definitely a speed-favoring racetrack," said Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Justwhistledixie.

The order of finish was completed by Be Fair, Four Gifts, Doremifasollatido, Funny Moon, and Dream Play.

Prior to the Kentucky Oaks, Gabby's Golden Gal had won the Sunland Park Oaks by 13 lengths in her first start on dirt.

Owned by her breeder, Arnold Zetcher, Gabby's Golden Gal is a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, who was purchased by Darley Stable earlier in the week.

"She's not real big but she puts everything into it," Zetcher said. "Bob calls her a little keg of dynamite. When we bred her, at the time we thought Medaglia d'Oro had good potential, and the dam, Gabriellina Giof, was our first winner."