12/12/2002 12:00AM

Gal on the Go stays for My Charmer


Gal on the Go didn't go to Fair Grounds after the Churchill Downs fall meet, as she did in 2001. Instead, she will start as the likely favorite in Saturday's $50,000 My Charmer Stakes at Turfway Park.

The decision by trainer Vickie Foley makes sense. Winless in 10 starts this season, Gal on the Go finds herself with a good opportunity to break her losing streak. Although she faces 11 rivals in the 1 1/16-mile My Charmer, most are money allowance horses and minor stakes runners.

Throughout much of 2002, Gal on the Go has faced stronger opposition. She was beaten a neck in May by Grade 1 winner Pompeii when second in an allowance at Churchill Downs, and later missed by a head as the runner-up in the $100,000 HBPA Handicap at Ellis Park. Most recently, she was fourth on the grass at Churchill Downs on Nov. 14.

Working in her favor on Saturday is her return to Turfway Park, a track at which she has compiled a 3-3-0 record in nine starts. One of those wins came in the Valdale Stakes at Turfway as a 3-year-old last year. James Lopez rides.

Giving Noreen, a stakes-placed daughter of Valid Wager, also returns to the main track after racing on grass. When she last raced on dirt at Arlington, she finished second to Softly, who won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff last month.

Giving Noreen consistently earns Beyer Speed Figures in the 85-89 range, numbers that rank her among the quickest horses in the field. Tony D'Amico rides for trainer Elliott Walden.

Reason to Talk is the one to beat from a Beyer perspective. Although less experienced in stakes than others, she has performed well in recent months, particularly on dirt.

She has been first or second in her last three dirt races, and has not earned below an 89 Beyer on any of those occasions.

She was the runner-up in a fast Churchill Downs allowance race on Nov. 20, despite a wide trip that lessened her effectiveness. Jockey Dean Butler must maneuver her toward the inside from a disadvantageous post position 11 in order to avoid another wide trip.

Other contenders in the My Charmer include stakes winner Seven Four Seven, a horse for the course with a 14-2-2 Turfway Park record in 10 starts, and Town Queen, who drops in class after finishing eighth in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs.

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