Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gallant Fox: Three-Year-Old Season

  William Woodward, Gallant Fox's owner, had little interest in the two-year-old racing. He preferred to focus on the three-year-olds. In 1930, when Gallant Fox turned three, it was a big deal for Woodward, and jockey Earl Sande even came out of retirement to ride him.

 The season began at the Wood Memorial Stakes. Gallant Fox, despite being boxed in at the far turn, won by four lengths, with Crack Brigade second. That year, the Preakness came before the Kentucky Derby. In that race, Gallant Fox was also boxed in near the beginning, but he managed to weave in and out of horses and pass Crack Brigade at the mile mark. He came out victorious.

 In that year's Kentucky Derby, starting gates were used for the first time. Even so, Gallant Fox easily won, and Gallant Knight finished second.

 After that came the Belmont Stakes. Gallant Fox met Wichone, a champion horse who had missed the first two Triple Crown races due to knee injury, and had won that years Whitney Stakes. Then another bad thing happened: Earle Sande was in a car accident. Even so, he decided to ride Gallant Fox, not wanting Gallant Fox to take the challenge alone.

 A light drizzle poured onto the historic New York track. Gallant Fox easily held off the favored Whichone and the top colt Questionaire, and became the second Triple Crown winner. He also replaced Zev as the leading money winner.
Gallant Fox in the winners circle, with Earl Sande aboard.

 Next he easily won the Dwyer Stakes, but met more of a challenge in the Arlington Classic, battling Gallant Knight for first place. Gallant Fox won by a neck.

 Then the two champions, Whichone and Gallant Fox, met for the third time, this time in the Travers Stakes. The track was muddy, and therefore slippery, but neither horse scratched.

 Right out of the gates, Wichone and Gallant Fox battled for first place. Sonny Workman, Whichone's rider, thought that he mud was deeper near the inside rail, and kept his horse in the middle of the track. When Whichone turned, he pushed Gallant Fox out with him. Jim Dandy had been running on the inside of the track, and easily beat an exhausted Gallant Fox by eight lengths. Meanwhile, Wichone's great career was over. He had been injured during the race.

 Gallant Fox returned with a victory in the Saratoga Cup. He came out a second slower than Reigh Count's stake record of 2:55 for a mile and three-quarters.

 Then he met Questionaire, who had not lost a race since Belmont, in the Lawerence Realization. He ran behind the outstanding colt until the two truned into the homestretch, when the greatest battle of his career began. The two were neck-and-neck. Questionaire's rider continuously whipped his horse, but Sande remained calm. Gallant Fox prevailed, winning by a head.

 Sadly, Gallant Fox only raced once more. Just after a victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, he developed fever, and retired. He was 1930's Horse of the Year, and had earned $328,165 in his lifetime.

 Before passing away on November 113, 1954, Gallant Fox had sire exceptional foals, including twenty stake winners and the 1935 Triple Crown winner, Omaha.

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