This Saturday at Hollywood Park, The Grade 1 Gamely Stakes will be run at a mile and an eighth on the turf course. This stake will bring together the multiple Grade 1 winning mare Forever Together versus the multiple graded stakes winner Tuscan Evening. But combined they have won as many graded stakes as the horse for whom this race is named for, the great mare Gamely.
Gamely did not run at two, mainly due to her size (16.2 hands). Her career begin at age three in California, where her first stake win was the Princess Stakes up north. Then, after two seconds in the Railbird Stakes and the Hollywood Oaks, she was sent east to Saratoga. Once there, she became a revelation. First, she won a division of the Test Stakes, setting a track record at seven furlongs in the process. Then she went on the win the Alabama, and finish third in the Beldame against older. She won the Eclipse Award for outstanding three-year-old filly.
At 4, she would go on to win the Vanity, Santa Maria, Santa Margarita, Inglewood (on the grass), Beldame & Wilshire (run at 7f on the main track) Handicaps that year. She also was 2nd in the Santa Anita Handicap and The Californian (to Dr. Fager) versus males. She would go on to win the Eclipse Award for Older Female. She would also share the award, with Gallant Bloom, the next year. At age 5, she would go on to defend her Beldame and Wilshire crowns, while adding the Diana & Santa Monica Handicaps to her ever-growing mantle. (To see a program of her, when she ran in the Santa Barbara Hcp. in 1969 (where she would run 3rd), click here)
She sadly died days after giving birth to her to her second foal in 1975. She was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980. She is buried at Claiborne Farm. Her legacy continues on with the stake named in her honor. But who will add there name to the list of such past winners as Estrapade, Hollywood Wildcat, Fiji and Tranquility Lake?
Beside the two big stars entered in the Gamely, there is one more horse that bears some acknowledgment. This filly is named Medaglia D'Amour. She is an undefeated daughter of Medaglia D'Oro, winning all four of her lifetime starts. Last time out, she won her stakes debut in the Wilshire Handicap at a mile on the Hollywood Park lawn. She was bet down from a 15-1 morning line down to 3-1 2nd choice. She stretches out another furlong and steps up in class, facing probably the top two older grass mares in the country. Will she be able to overcome such obstacles? Will Tuscan Evening continue her hot streak across town? Will Forever Together be able to reel her in? This Saturday, all these questions and more will be answered.