Declan Cannon guides Enduring Honor to victory at New Jersey's Monmouth Park on Sunday. EQUI-PHOTO/BILL DENVER
By John Manley
The last time Brendan Galvin had reason to be mentioned in these pages was during the first term of the Obama administration. The County Kerry native had won his first race as a trainer, but as so many aspirants learn, hanging up a shingle and trying to carve out a career isn’t always a path strewn with rose petals. Swallowing one’s pride and serving as someone else’s righthand man has its benefits (see David Carroll and Mark Casse). In Galvin’s case, that someone was Bill Morey.
Morey, who ran strings on both California circuits, north and south, recently ran afoul of the powers that be at Santa Anita, who asked Morey to no longer darken their doorway. Morey complied and simultaneously turned his horses at Golden Gate Fields over to Galvin. Galvin hasn’t missed a beat, winning races on both the Sunday and Monday cards there.
Galvin struck first in Sunday’s fourth race, a maiden special weight sprint on the main track, with Miss Lucky Lager, a Pamela Ziebarth homebred first-timer. The 3-year-old filly quickly got to the front under Juan Hernandez and showed the way, reaching the wire three lengths the best. She paid $8.40 to win.
The second victory came in the seventh race on the Memorial Day card when Palermo Style, owned by a large partnership, got his nose down on the wire in a blanket finish in a first-level allowance route on the grass. Julien Couton was aboard the $17.60 victor.
Shane Ryan’s Gucci Factor earned his first stakes victory by reeling in the runaway pacesetter in the Kingston Stakes, a turf mile, at Belmont Park on Monday. Content to let the frontrunner have his way, Jose Ortiz and the son of Gio Ponti chipped away at the lead in the stretch, collared him inside the sixteenth pole and won by just over a length. Christophe Clement, who trained Gio Ponti for Ryan, conditions Gucci Factor as well. Now a winner of four of his last five outings, Gucci Factor returned $11.20 to win.
Declan Cannon was at Monmouth Park on Sunday to ride Jehozacat for trainer Arnaud Delacour in the Miss Liberty Stakes. They appeared to be on their way to victory after having taken over the lead in deep stretch, only to get overtaken at the wire by an 11-1 longshot. Cannon made up for that almost an hour later by getting home first on another 11-1 charge saddled by Derek Ryan. Enduring Honor, owned by Tom Cullen and Daniel McKillop, had gone winless in nine tries in the last 18 months, but in Sunday’s 11th race at Monmouth, he dropped slightly in class and had the blinkers removed. He came from off the pace under Cannon to tally by just over a length and pay $24.80.
Friday at Belterra in Cincinnati must have been Irish trainers day, although it wasn’t advertised as such. John Ennis saddled the first-race winner in Beckett Racing Team’s Missap, an Ohio-bred filly that tallied by just over a length under John McKee. She returned $3.60 to win for Ennis’ first win of 2019.
The third race was an all-Irish affair as Knight Disruptor won off his maiden breaker at Indiana Grand a month ago. Julie Burke had the 4-year-old gelding battling from the get-go and he held on to win a photo by a neck. He paid $7.00 as the favorite in this claiming sprint on the main track. The winner is owned by Declan Jackson, a native of Stepaside, Co. Dublin, and trained by Joe Deegan. Let it also be noted that Knight Disruptor has gone his entire career without once being treated with Lasix.
Belterra’s fifth race was Tom Bergin’s time to shine. He sent out Topo Chica, another Pamela Ziebarth homebred filly, and got the lion’s share of the purse when Alexis Achard brought that one in nearly seven lengths on top. The winner returned $3.00 and moved on to the barn of trainer Jamie Grubbs via the claim box.
John Manley's Horseracing Roundup appears each week in the Irish Echo.