Gala Brand returns in Wild Applause

June 20th, 2024

Grade 3 victress #1 Gala Brand drew the rail for her sophomore debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Wild Applause S. at Aqueduct. The one-mile turf affair for three-year-old fillies attracted a nice group of prospects in what looks like a well-matched cast, and I will saddle with the Bill Mott trainee to get her campaign started with a win. 

Wild Applause Wagers

  • $15 win and place #1 Gala Brand ($30)
  • $5 exacta key box 1 with 4,9 ($20)

Gala Brand commenced her career with an eye-catching win sprinting on the Saratoga lawn in August when rallying from 14 lengths back to win going away late. The daughter of Violence broke slowly and was last when facing the boys in the subsequent With Anticipation S. (G3), but she overcame her tardy beginning with a stout late run to move her mark to 2-for-2. The filly defeated next-out Grade 1 victor Carson’s Run in that victory at The Spa. 

She closed well to be fourth behind Hard to Justify in the Miss Grillo (G2) in her third appearance, prior to capping her juvenile season with an unplaced performance in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). I like how the chestnut has been training as of late, and drawing inside for the late runner will be a benefit, as well. In a race with multiple runners who prefer to be in the mix early, she will have a good set up to make noise inside the final furlong. Jose Lezcano picks up the mount. 

Conditioner Chad Brown has three in the field with each drawn in the outside post slots. My preferred runner from the barn is #9 Oversubscribed with Flavien Prat in the silks. The expensive Too Darn Hot filly rallied into a dawdling pace to graduate at Tampa Bay Downs on debut while earning a hefty 106 Brisnet Late Pace number in February, and she returned with a game second on this surface most recently behind a smart winner who led at every call. The bay has a lot of room for improvement in just her third career run, and I envision her getting honest fractions to rally into at a decent number. 

#4 Macanga went gate-to-wire in an allowance score on the oval in her first for trainer Richard Dutrow, and though I expect her to receive some pressure early in this one, she still will be included in my exotics plays with John Velazquez in the stirrups. The American Pharoah filly could be the one to run down turning for home.