Gallorette in the Whitney

She is a rugged, strong filly, with big joints and a good frame, very much of the type usually with a *Challenger II.  Her head is very good and her expression feminine, but otherwise she is a rather masculine type of filly.

Thus Joe Palmer described Gallorette, champion handicap mare of 1946 and the mare who would win the Whitney in 1948, at age six.

At three, Gallorette won a number of the major races for her sex:  the Acorn, the Pimlico Oaks, the Delaware Oaks.  In unrestricted races, she was second in the Wood Memorial and the Dwyer.

At four, she continued her dominance, racking up wins in the Met Mile, the Brooklyn Handicap (beating Stymie), the Carter, and the Beldame.

And at five, she first attempted the Whitney Handicap, trying to follow in the footsteps of Black Maria and Bateau, the fillies who won the first two runnings of the race.  Gallorette didn’t get there on the first shot, but undaunted, came back in her final year of racing to try again.

Gallorette seemed to like Saratoga; in eight starts here in a four-year racing career, she finished off the board only once, in the 1948 Saratoga Handicap; a year before, she lost that race by a neck to Rico Monte, just two weeks after he’d beaten her by a head in her first Whitney.

Among the races Gallorette won at Saratoga was the Wilson Mile, in which she was the victor in both 1947 and 1948; in 1946, she was second in the race by a neck to Pavot.

In 1948, just four days after capturing her second Wilson Mile, Gallorette made her second start in the Whitney.  The chestnut daughter of Challenger II took on three other horses and won by three-quarters of a length.  She raced five times after that 1948 Whitney; it would turn out to be her final victory.

Retired after her six-year-old campaign, in 1948, in the mid-1950’s Gallorette was voted the best race mare in American history, beating out Twilight Tear, Beldame, and Busher, whose earnings record she broke, retiring with lifetime earnings of $445,535.  Her racing record was 72-21-20-13.  She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962.

The Blood-Horse placed Gallorette at #45 in its top 100 racehorses of the 20th century; Tom LaMarra said that “She was a filly…made of iron.”  He quotes from The Great Ones:

She was a big mare; as big as most of the colts she raced against, tougher than some of them, faster than almost all of them.

For more on the history of the Whitney Handicap, check out Kevin Martin’s post at Colin’s Ghost on the race’s first running, in 1948.

Sources cited and consulted

Champions.  Published by the Daily Racing Form, 2000.

Gallorette.”  National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Gallorette.”  Pedigree Query.

“Gallorette.”  Thoroughbred Champions:  Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. Published by the Blood-Horse, Inc., 2003.

Gallorette painting by Richard Stone Reeves, collection of the National Museum of Racing.

Palmer, Joe.  American Race Horses:  1945.  Published privately by the Sagamore Press.

Roach, James.  “Gallorette, The Admiral Annex Featured Stakes at Saratoga.”  New York Times.  August 8, 1948.

Roach, James.  “Rico Monte Scores in Whitney Stakes, With Stymie Third.”  New York Times.  August 10, 1947.

Tower, Whitney.  “Fillies First.”  Sports Illustrated Vault. July 9, 1956.

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