04/14/2002 11:00PM

Pretty Gale captures Lady Hallie


CHICAGO - Sportsman's Park's broodmare of the week really isn't that hard to choose. Just eight days after her 3-year-old son, War Emblem, captured the $500,000 Illinois Derby here, the mare Sweetest Lady got another stakes winner Sunday when her 4-year-old daughter, Pretty Gale, won the $100,000 Lady Hallie.

Like War Emblem, Pretty Gale was bred and is owned by Chicagoan Russell Reineman, is trained by Bobby Springer, and was ridden by Larry Sterling Jr., whose breakout meet continues at Sportsman's. And like War Emblem, Pretty Gale made good use of her early foot to lead all the way en route to an easy win. Pretty Gale beat the longshot Lunar Star by more than seven lengths after making an uncontested lead in the one and one-sixteenth mile Lady Hallie.

"This win was as easy as War Emblem's in the Illinois Derby last week," Sterling said. "I can't say I was concerned at any point. She was relaxed and it was real easy."

Pretty Gale, a 2-1 favorite who paid $6 to win, was able to clear her rivals from an outside post because she ran fast, 23.59 seconds for a quarter-mile and 47.89 for a half. Then Sterling backed things up. Pretty Gale's next half-mile went in almost 52 seconds, and with that sort of breather, no wonder none of her seven rivals could get close in the stretch.

Pretty Gale, who is by Mountain Cat, was timed in 1:45.99 over a fast track. The 19-1 Lunar Star edged the 26-1 shot Harlan Ash for the place.