Memorial Day Preview: The Grade I Gamely at Santa Anita

May 24, 2020

Elite Field of Eleven includes Ollie’s Candy, Beautiful Lover & Keeper Ofthe Stars 

ARCADIA, Calif. – Fresh off a huge second place finish on dirt, trainer John Sadler’s Ollie’s Candy heads a solid field of eleven fillies and mares three and up going a mile and one eighth on turf in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita. Ollie’s Candy will face stiff competition that includes Chad Brown’s lightly raced Beautiful Lover, Jonathan Wong’s Keeper Ofthe Stars, the Richard Baltas-trained Lady Prancealot and others.

Named for the brilliant multiple champion Hall of Fame distaffer, the Gamely was first run at Hollywood Park in 1939 as the Long Beach Handicap and was renamed in honor of William Haggin Perry’s Gamely in 1976.


Owner: Paul & Karen Eggert

Trainer: John Sadler

In what appeared to be her career-best effort on April 18, this 5-year-old Candy Ride mare finished second by a head to highly regarded Ce Ce in the Grade I, 1 1/16 mile Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 18. A Grade I winner on dirt five starts back last July at Del Mar, Ollie’s Candy hasn’t run on turf since finishing second in the Grade III, one mile Wilshire Stakes here five races back on June 22, 2019. Second on turf in both the Grade I Del Mar Oaks and Grade II San Clemente Stakes in the summer of 2018, she has three seconds from four tries on turf and is thus a major danger in the Gamely.


Owner: Paul Pompa, Jr. & Gary Tolchin

Trainer: Chad Brown

A lightly raced 4-year-old Florida-bred filly by Arch, she was most recently a sharp second in a Grade II stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Tampa Bay Downs March 7. Raced on turf exclusively in all seven career starts, she has three wins and two seconds and has shown she’s equally effective stalking the early pace or rallying from far back. Favored on four occasions, she gets the services of top jock Irad Ortiz, Jr. and figures to be plenty tough shipping in from South Florida.


Owner: Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC

Trainer: Jonathan Wong

Dismissed at 36-1, she ran the race of her life in taking the Grade II, one mile turf Buena Vista Stakes here on Feb. 22, her second graded stakes win on grass. A close fourth after pressing the pace in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks seven starts back last August, this 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly is in top form and will hope the extra furlong on Monday will be within her scope with regular rider Abel Cedillo up.

The Grade 1 $300,000 Gamely Stakes Post Positions 

Race 11, Approximate post time 5:30 p.m. PT

(8:30 p.m. ET) 

1. Etoile, Joel Rosario (122)

2. Ollie’s Candy, Drayden Van Dyke.(124)

3. Lady Prancealot, John Velazquez (126)

4. Giza Goddess, Victor Espinoza.(122)

5. Mucho Unusual, Umberto Rispoli (124)

6. Simply Breathless, Jorge Velez (122)

7. Beautiful Lover, Irad Ortiz, Jr. (122)

8. Tiny Tina, Mike Smith (122)

9. Siberian Iris, Jose Valdivia, Jr. (122)

10. Bodhicitta, Flavien Prat (122)

11. Keeper ofthe Stars, Abel Cedillo (124)

First post time for an 11-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m. Although there is no public admittance, fans are encouraged to wager via or For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.

Press Release: Santa Anita

Photo: Santa Anita

@jonathanstettin great wrap up to the weekend. Had a $20 double to close SA with your picks!

pete daloia @coacpdaloia View testimonials




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