05/29/2009 11:00PM

Magical Fantasy gets up in Gamely


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Magical Fantasy is forcing her way to the top of the female turf list.

After winning the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita in April, she returned to win the second Grade 1 race of her career in Saturday's $328,000 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park. Last summer, Magical Fantasy won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in a 42-1 upset.

Saturday, Magical Fantasy was dismissed at 6-1 and needed all of the 1 1/8 miles on turf to beat nine other fillies and mares.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Magical Fantasy rallied from sixth in the final quarter-mile to finish a neck in front of Visit. Winning trainer Paddy Gallagher feared that Magical Fantasy's rally would fall short in the stretch.

"At the sixteenth pole, she made a run and I thought maybe she wouldn't get there," Gallagher said. "Then, she came on again. It was an exciting race to watch."

Diamond Diva, the 2-1 favorite who set the pace, finished third, a nose behind Visit. Black Mamba, who was second by a nose to Magical Fantasy in the Santa Barbara, finished fourth, 1 1/2 lengths behind Magical Fantasy.

Magical Fantasy's presence as the fourth choice in the betting did not concern Gallagher.

"The longer the odds, she seems to run good, so I felt more comfortable," Gallagher said.

Owned by David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach, and Chuck Winner, Magical Fantasy has won 4 of 15 starts and $649,231.

A 4-year-old filly by Diesis, Magical Fantasy may not start again until the Del Mar meeting, possibly the $350,000 John Mabee Handicap, a Grade 1 on turf, on Aug. 6.