Mare Earns Fourth Career Graded-Stakes Victory in 5-Year-Old Debut
BALTIMORE, MD – Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s multiple graded-stakes winning homebred Mean Mary, making her 5-year-old debut, had things her own way from start to finish for a popular half-length triumph in Saturday’s $150,000 Gallorette (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
The 70th running of the 1 1/16-mile Gallorette for fillies and mares 3 and up on the grass was the third of 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.25 million on a spectacular 14-race program headlined by the 146th running of the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Confidently handled by jockey Luis Saez, who previously won the Gallorette with Somali Lemonade in 2014, Mean Mary ($3.60) was never threatened in earning her fourth career graded-stakes victory and first since the 2020 New York (G2) which capped a four-race win streak.
The winning time was 1:43.10 over a firm turf course.
Unraced since finishing seventh by just 2 ½ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last November at Keeneland, Mean Mary gave trainer Graham Motion his third Gallorette win following Film Maker (2005) and Ultra Brat (2018).
Mean Mary broke alertly and quickly established command up front, cruising uncontested through a quarter-mile in 25.27 seconds and a half in 50.92. Flighty Lady, Group 1-placed in France and making her second U.S. start, trailed in second with Feel Glorious third. The top three remained unchanged after six furlongs went in 1:15.29, when Saez gave Mean Mary her cue and she began to open up on her rivals.
Tropical Park Oaks winner Vigilantes Way made a belated run on the outside to get second, a length ahead of Great Island. Flighty Lady and Feel Glorious completed the order of finish. Mean Mary’s stablemate, Tuned, was scratched.
Mean Mary made her career debut at Laurel Park in September 2019, finishing fifth, but hadn’t raced in Maryland since. She was first or second in seven consecutive races, including a wins in the 2020 La Prevoyante (G3), Orchid (G3) and New York in succession, before coming up a neck shy of Rushing Fall in the Diana (G1) at Saratoga. Rushing Fall would go on to be named last year’s female turf champion.
Gallorette retired in 1948 as the world’s leading money-winning mare, with earnings of $445,535. She won 21 of 72 starts and placed in 39 stakes, capturing the 1945 Pimlico Oaks and being named champion handicap mare of 1946. She was elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1962.
$150,000 Gallorette (G3) Quotes
Winning Trainer Graham Motion (Mean Mary): “Could not have asked for a better comeback. I was a little nervous; first time she’s run without Lasix. That’s all I said to (jockey) Luis (Saez) is to make sure she was settled. She wants to be pretty wound up. Perfect comeback. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
“It was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything else, really. I didn’t know that they would let her go that easy on the lead. My main concern was that she was settled, that she was relaxed.”
Winning Jockey Luis Saez (Mean Mary): “It was great. She broke right there on her own. She was doing it pretty easy, and I knew I had a lot of horse. At the top of the stretch, I just let her run. She did it pretty easy. I didn’t have to use my stick for nothing.”
“She’s been running with tough fillies. Today was a little easier.”
“It was a little short for her, because she loves to go a mile and a half, that’s her distance. But with the layoff, it was perfect for her. There’s a lot more horse there. I had so much horse.”
Trainer Shug McGaughey (Vigilantes Way; 2nd): “Well, we didn’t get the best of the break. I thought it was all good. I thought she ran good. She laid back there and I thought Jose (jockey Ortiz) did the right thing when the other filly cleared her. I thought she would have a hard time catching (Mean Mary). That is a pretty good filly. She ran fine and I thought he rode her fine. I think we are on the right track with her.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz (Vigilantes Way; 2nd): “She didn’t break like I wanted her to. I wanted to be next to Luis [Saez]. I was the only other speed in the race, so I let her be where she was comfortable. She made a beautiful move turning for home. She ran big and keeps improving. If I had been where Irad [Ortiz Jr. on Flighty Lady] was, the race may be different. One jump better from the start and I may have gotten there.”