Gallant Fox | Horse Profile

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Gallant Fox

The 1930 Horse of the Year won the Triple Crown in 1930 as well. Born in 1927, the talented horse would sire two stellar progeny in Omaha and Granville.

Quick Career Stats for Gallant Fox

  • Starts: 17
  • Wins: 11
  • Places: 3
  • Shows: 2
  • Earnings: $19,304
Gallant Fox Pedigree
*Teddy (1913)
Sir Gallahad, III (FR) (1920)
=Plucky Liege (GB) (1912)
Gallant Fox (1927)
Celt (1905)
Marguerite (1920)
*Fairy Ray (1911)

How did Gallant Fox win the Triple Crown?

  • The Kentucky Derby
    • The first Kentucky Derby to feature a starting gate saw Gallant Fox get bounced around in traffic during a rough run past the stands. But under the careful guidance of veteran jockey Earl Sande, Gallant Fox shifted outside of horses, surged to the front on the backstretch, and maintained a comfortable two-length lead all the way to the finish line. Favored at just under 6-5, Gallant Fox stopped the clock in 2:07 3/5 over a good track.
  • The Preakness Stakes
    • In a year when the Preakness was contested prior to the Kentucky Derby, Gallant Fox ran into traffic during the early going, forcing jockey Earl Sande to take him farther off the pace than usual to find racing room. Once clear, Gallant Fox rallied resiliently to wear down his rivals and score by three-quarters of a length in 2:00 3/5, his closest call in the Triple Crown series.
  • The Belmont Stakes
    • Slightly troubled trips forced Gallant Fox to work for victory in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but there was no drama in the Belmont Stakes. Though he wasn’t favored to win—that honor fell to champion 2-year-old Whichone—Gallant Fox was never seriously challenged during the 1 1/2-mile test, leading through fractions of :23 4/5, :50 1/5, and 1:16 before kicking clear to score by three lengths in 2:31 3/5 over a good track.

Who was Gallant Fox?

Known best as the second Triple Crown champion ever, Gallant Fox was born in 1927 and had a brief but brilliant Thoroughbred racing career. Bred and raced by Belair Stud’s William Woodward, Gallant Fox was a bay colt with a white blaze.

Early in his career, Gallant Fox proved what he was capable of while winning the 1929 Flash Stakes and Cowdin Stakes as a juvenile. He also raced valiantly in the Belmont Futurity, where he placed third. His 2-year-old record was two wins from seven starts.

Gallant Fox was ridden by Earl Sande, and the pair would enter the 1930 season as the favorites for the Preakness Stakes, which was the first leg of the Triple Crown at the time. He won the Preakness by three-quarters of a length, then claimed victory in the Kentucky Derby two weeks later. He then won the Belmont Stakes in fine fashion three weeks later, beating Whichone, who had beaten him at the Belmont Futurity one year prior.

The rivalry between Whichone and Gallant Fox would take center stage at the Travers Stakes in the summer, but both would lose to 100/1 longshot Jim Dandy. Gallant Fox rebounded with late season wins in the Saratoga Cup and the Jockey Gold Cup before retiring to stud at the conclusion of the 1930 season.

In a 17-race career, Gallant Fox went 11-3-2 and earned $328,165. He was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1957. He was also the 1930 Horse of the Year and 1930 Champion 3-year-old male.

Retirement to Claiborne Farms was kind to Gallant Fox, who sired many winning foals including Omaha and Granville. The latter would be the 1936 Horse of the Year but the former would win the 1935 Triple Crown. That made Gallant Fox and Omaha the first father-son combo to win the prestigious Crown. He also sired Omaha’s brother Flares, who won the 1938 Ascot Gold Cup in England.

More rare photos of Gallant Fox

Gallant Fox The images above are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.

Gallant Fox and jockey E. Sande win the 1930 Preakness Stakes (Keeneland Library Morgan Collection) This image is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.