Updated on 09/17/2011 9:51AM

Gal O Gal rides hedge to victory

Bill Denver/EquiPhotos
Gal O Gal, who was given a ground-saving ride by Chris DeCarlo, pulls away from Formal Miss in the stretch of Saturday's Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gal O Gal launched her racing career last summer running for an $18,500 claiming tag at Colonial Downs. Less than seven months later she became a graded stakes winner after running down Formal Miss en route to a half-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 at Gulfstream Park.

Gal O Gal, benefitting from a masterful ride by jockey Chris DeCarlo, never left the hedge while rallying from last place to overtake Formal Miss in the final yards of the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes. Formal Miss forced the early pace of 25-1 shot Bolaro, forged to a short advantage in early stretch, dug in gamely when challenged by the winner, but was not quite good enough. Devil at the Wire rallied mildly to finish third.

Sweettrickydancer, who came into the Herecomesthebride sporting a four-race win streak, raced wide throughout and faltered badly once entering the stretch. The 2-1 favorite, she finished last in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies.

Gal O Gal covered the distance in 1:42.38 over a firm course and paid $8.60.

Gal O Gal, who was making her stakes debut in the Herecomesthebride, had won her last three starts, with two of those victories coming against claiming competition at Calder and Gulfstream.

"She's just a little thing, there's not much to her, and she's got more heart than size," said Vinnie Blengs, who trains Gal O Gal for owner-breeder Max Hugel. "I guess she's found a home on the turf. It's certainly been the answer to her success."

Blengs, who has been coming to Gulfstream since 1948, was quick to praise DeCarlo's ride.

"The kid rode a magnificent race," Blengs said. "He fits this filly to a 'T.' "

DeCarlo has ridden Gal O Gal to each of her last four victories.

"I had no where else to go. The rail was the only place there was room to get through," he said. "I knew I had enough horse as long as I could get her head up in there. She's kind of a tiny filly so it was easy to do."

Blengs said he plans on giving Gal O Gal a vacation.