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2023 Gamely Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Pegasus Champ Queen Goddess Back On Home Turf
Queen Goddess (Benoit Photo)

2023 Gamely Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Pegasus Champ Queen Goddess Back On Home Turf

Aaron previews the 2023 Gamely Stakes (G1) from Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks & long shots. This year’s Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3) champion Queen Goddess is back on her home turf, where she owns a 4-3-1-0 record – all against graded stakes competition. Will the Michael McCarthy trainee continue her local domination? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

                Queen Goddess will take aim at a second Grade I win for trainer Michael McCarthy when she takes on six rivals in Monday’s Grade I, $400,000 Gamely Stakes going 1 1/8 miles on turf.

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                Queen Goddess won the GIII Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in her 5-year-old bow Jan. 28 then returned to be sixth when sent to Keeneland for the Grade I Jenny Wiley on April 15. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partner and Gary Barber, Queen Goddess has won half of her 12 starts with three additional board hits for $769,080 in earnings. Her biggest win came in the 2021 GI American Oaks, which was washed off the turf and moved to the main track.  

                Queen Goddess is by Empire Maker out of stakes-placed winner Royal Story, by Lemon Drop Kid.  She will be ridden by eastern-based jockey Luis Saez, who comes to town after being aboard for both the Jenny Wiley and Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

                The chief rivals to Queen Goddess look to be Macadamia and Quattroelle, who have split a pair of decisions when running 1-2 in their two most recent starts.

                In the GIII Wilshire at a mile on turf here April 30, Macadamia beat Quattroelle by a length to earn her first stakes victory for top turf trainer Phil D’Amato, who also has School Dance entered in the Gamely.  Owned by R Unicorn Stable, Macadamia is a 5-year-old mare by Hat Trick.

                Jockey Tiago Pereira, who has ridden Macadamia in her last three starts, will again be in the irons Monday.

                Prior to coming up a length short in the Wilshire, Quattroelle had reeled off consecutive graded-stakes wins for trainer Jeff Mullins. She beat Macadamia by a half-length here March 4 in the GII Buena Vista and prior to that won the GIII Megahertz, both going a mile on turf. Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, Quattroelle has a record of 5-4-4 in 16 starts with $432,772 in earnings.

                Jockey Hector Berrios, who has been aboard for Quattroelle’s last seven starts, again has the call on Monday.

                The new shooter in the field is Irish-bred Viareggio, who invades from the east for trainer Brendan Walsh. A 4-year-old filly by Caravaggio, Viareggio won her only U.S. start when taking a first-level allowance at Keeneland going 1 1/16 miles on turf April 21.

                Viareggio is owned by Hunter Valley Farm, Debra L. O’Connor, Mrs. Paul Shanahan and Marc Detampel. She will be ridden by Umberto Rispoli.


Race 5 of 10  Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT

  1. School Dance – Flavien Prat – 122
  2. Bellamore – Ramon Vazquez – 122
  3. Queen Goddess – Luis Saez – 122
  4. Closing Remarks – Joe Bravo – 124
  5. Viareggio – Umberto Rispoli – 122
  6. Quattroelle – Hector Berrios – 124
  7. Macadamia – Tiago Pereira – 122

                First post time for a 10-race card on Monday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m. The $400,000 Gamely Stakes, is one of three Grade I events on Memorial Day, Monday.