Ten Things You Should Know: Gamely Stakes
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
Originally published on May 26, 2011
1) The Gamely Stakes is a Grade 1 race held at Santa Anita Park in California. It is a turf race run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares.
2) Originally run at Hollywood Park, the race was run for the first time as the Long Beach Handicap in 1939 but was not run again until 1968. The 2013 rendition was the final running at Hollywood Park. The race is now run at Santa Anita Park.
3) In 1976, the race was renamed for the U.S. Racing Hall of Famer Gamely. Gamely was a three-time champion and winner of the Test, Alabama, Beldame, Vanity, Diana, and Santa Monica among other major stakes for fillies and mares. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
4) The race was run as a handicap from 1993 to 1997. It has been run at one mile and 1 1/16 miles in addition to its current distance. In 1968 and 1978 it was run on dirt. In 1968 it was open to both sexes.
5) Susan’s Girl, the three-time champion and U.S. Hall of Fame member, won the 1975 edition in the only turf victory of her career. She had finished second the previous year in the race, then known as the Long Beach Handicap.
6) In 1985, Estrapade won the Gamely. The following year, she would become the first and only filly or mare to win the prestigious Arlington Million. Also in 1986, she finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and was awarded the Eclipse Award for Turf Female. She was elected to the U.S. Hall of Fame in 2006.
7) In 1993, the Bobby Frankel-trained Toussaud won the Gamely in a stakes record time that still stands (1:45.07). After retirement, she was the dam of five graded stakes winners, including Empire Maker. Empire Maker won the 2003 Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, and Belmont Stakes.
8) Bobby Frankel won eight editions of the Gamely for seven different owners (he won it twice for Juddmonte Farms). His first win came in 1990 with Double Wedge. His last win came in 2008 with Precious Kitten.
9) In the 1994 Gamely Handicap, Hollywood Wildcat, the previous year’s 3-year-old champion filly and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner, beat two-time female turf Eclipse Award winner Flawlessly. Flawlessly was elected to the U.S. Hall of Fame in 2004. Hollywood Wildcat is the dam of 2000 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner War Chant.
10) Jockey Kent Desormeaux has won six editions of the race, including four during the 1990s. His first win came aboard the previously mentioned Toussaud in 1993, and his last was on Astra in 2002. He also won the Gamely aboard Astra in 2000.