10/16/2008 12:00AM

Two of Gallagher's products prospering


ELMONT, N.Y. - The two juveniles produced by Gallagher's Stud running in New York Showcase Day stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park are testimony to the gathering strength of the state's breeding program.

The pair of promising babies fetched a lot of money for New York-breds at the sales last year.

Straight Story sold for $400,000 at Keeneland in September, while Our Golden Dream brought $265,000 at Saratoga in August.

"It says that the New York breeding program is getting better and better," said Mallory Mort, the farm manager at Gallagher's Stud, located on 550 rolling acres in Columbia County. "With the elimination of the breed-back rule to New York stallions, we've been able to use more Kentucky stallions. That has really allowed the New York program to prosper."

The farm was founded three decades ago by Marlene and the late Jerry Brody, who named it for his famed Manhattan steak house.

The two Gallagher's Stud prospects have solid chances to shine in their respective $100,000 races, both at one mile.

Straight Story faces 10 rivals in the Sleepy Hollow, while Our Golden Dream takes on 11 in the Maid of the Mist for fillies.

Straight Story, a son of Giant's Causeway, has one win in two starts for Jayeff B Stables and trainer Alan Goldberg.

He switched to turf last time out on Sept. 20 at Belmont Park, scoring the maiden win by a half-length.

"He's doing well enough," Goldberg said. "We'll try him back on the dirt and then we'll put him away for the rest of the year."

Mort remembers Straight Story as a flashy colt. "He's got a nice blaze and some white on his legs," Mort said. "He was an easy one to pick out. If he had a little bit more size, we might have gotten even more money for him. He was just a bit on the small side."

Fiddlers Afleet is another compact contender in the Sleepy Hollow, getting his maiden win by 6 3/4 lengths in his fourth try for trainer Tom Bush. This will be his first race beyond 5 1/2 furlongs.

"I'm excited about him," Bush said. "He's a real handy, sound little horse who's done very well. He's got enough pedigree that tells you that he ought to stretch out. He should be on or close to the lead. He's doing extremely well.

"He got rushed off his feet the first couple of times. Stretching out, I like to see him find his stride on his own. I think he can carry his speed. I'm hopeful the stretch-out will be beneficial to his style."

The unbeaten Trinity Magic looms the favorite in the Sleepy Hollow following his solid win in the B.F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont last month.

"He's done everything that's been asked of him," said Toby Sheets, the New York-based assistant trainer for Steve Asmussen.

"He's been very professional. He's always done everything exactly the way he's supposed to, like an older horse. For the start, he acted like he knew what he was here for."

In the filly division, Bush sends out Our Golden Dream for John Confort and Albert Weiss in the Maid of the Mist.

She is a half-sister to Icabad Crane, third in this year's Preakness, and ran on turf in both starts. She was an easy winner in her debut at Saratoga before finishing eighth on a yielding course in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo earlier this month at Belmont.

"I'm pretty certain she'll handle the dirt," Bush said. "She had the pedigree on the female side for turf and she was a late foal, so I was being conservative running her on the turf.

"I don't know what happened to her in the second start. I was disappointed in the race and I couldn't come up with anything concrete. She's bounced back out of that race well and she's eating well. I'm pretty confident she's going to run good."

Sneakin Up figures to again be a strong stretch factor following a hard-charging win the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes last month for her maiden score.

She picks up an additional furlong in the Maid of the Mist.

"She's certainly trained well and it looks like she wants to go the distance," said trainer and co-owner Joe Pierce Jr.