Updated on 09/16/2011 8:02AM

Galic Boy strategy purely pragmatic


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Mickey Goldfine has maneuvered Galic Boy with surgical precision the last couple of seasons. Goldfine knows what his horse can do and when he can do it, and he trains him accordingly - no wasted energy, no wasted starts.

The strategy of realistic placement has gotten the 7-year-old Galic Boy four wins and more than $200,000 in earnings the last two seasons. Sunday, Galic Boy faces eight opponents in The Bart Stakes, a $60,000-added overnight race at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Like the Reluctant Guest, its filly counterpart run here Friday, The Bart drew an excellent field for a race of its class. Besides Galic Boy, Al's Dearly Bred, Just Like Jimmy, Kimberlite Pipe, and Private Son rank as serious contenders. Associate, Smilin' Slew, and Thomas Crown are the longshots.

Galic Boy handled Just Like Jimmy here in the July 7 Bowl Game Stakes, but now must take on several others in the same league. Chief among them is Private Son, whose current form puts him on level terms with Galic Boy. After missing a year of racing, Private Son returned to action in April, trained for the first time by Sally Schu, and has run well in all four of his starts this season.

Private Son easily won a Churchill allowance race in May and was training so well at Arlington that Schu stuck him in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes early in July. It was a great class leap, but Private Son finished second, beaten only a quarter-length by Cetewayo. His next race, the July 27 Arlington Handicap, was not quite as good - Private Son finished fourth and didn't punch home in the stretch as he had in the Stars and Stripes.

But the turf was yielding that day, and Private Son had only 21 days between starts. His pattern of development should curve upward again in The Bart.

Al's Dearly Bred has lost two straight after winning two in a row earlier this summer. Winner of a Claiming Crown turf race last summer, Al's Dearly Bred is a tiger in starter-allowance races and a player in minor stakes, and trainer Hugh Robertson gives him a pass for his most recent failure, citing hard turf at Mountaineer Park as the reason for a fifth-place finish.

Kimberlite Pipe, a top 3-year-old on dirt several years ago, found a new home on turf last season, but after racing competitively in graded stakes a year ago he has yet to find his form this season. In from Woodbine for trainer Michael Wright, Kimberlite Pipe shows only two moderate efforts in turf sprints this season.

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