Day At The Track

Rompaway Galaxy looks to walk away in Galt Stake

04:26 AM 17 Oct 2014 NZDT
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Rompaway Galaxy
Rompaway Galaxy showing winning form
Brad Berg Photo
Rompaway Galaxy, the 2013 Ohio 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year and a winner of $376,132 lifetime, headlines a field of nine in Friday's $92,300 Galt Stake for sophomore trotting colts and geldings.
Carefully managed throughout his career by trainer Krista Harmon, the son of Rompaway Wally was bred and is owned by Tom Smith's Rompaway Farms, Inc. of Battle Creek, Michigan. Smith is the former racing secretary at Michigan's old Jackson Raceway.
"Tom sent Galaxy to us in the fall of 2012," Krista recalled. "He was kind of on the small side, but then his parents aren't real big horses. Rompaway Wally is an averaged-sized horse and Rompaway Wynona was about the same. Tom had purchased both of those horses' dams one year at the Delaware Sale."
Despite his Stature, Krista said that Rompaway Galaxy didn't act the part.
"He was a handful," she confirmed. "He was just so full of himself every day. He wasn't mean, he was just out to show how good he felt. But it didn't make for a productive training career, so we gelded him. Then, he went through a growth spurt, and matured physically.
"We came home the first of May and our intentions were to qualify him and go to a fair, but after his first qualifier he trotted home strong and indicated he was much better than we originally thought," Krista continued.
As a freshman, Rompaway Galaxy had eight starts, with seven wins and one second in 2013, earning $161,550.
"As immature as he was mentally early on, it was amazing how quickly he figured things out," Krista assessed. "It was like a switch was turned on in his head, and all of a sudden he was focused and on his game. He had an outstanding freshman campaign and won one at Hoosier and the rest were Ohio Sires and Breeders Stakes.
Krista and her husband Don winter train at Gilcrest Training Center in Bell, FL and took the colt there to mature between his 2- and 3-year-old seasons.
"He grew up a little bit and is still full of himself but isn't unruly," she acknowledged. "As a 2-year-old he would make u-turns from time to time. He still looks for things, just to play. He's got a lot of playful personality. This year he's a little more attuned to what's going on around him and when he gets on the track, he's ready to go and pays more attention to business."
This season Rompaway Galaxy has amassed $214,582 from 12 starts, with six wins, two seconds and three thirds. He recorded a career mark of 1:55.3f en route to a $22,800 Ohio Breeders Stake victory on Aug. 9 at Scioto Downs. Last Saturday he finished a strong third to Father Patrick in the $203,000 American National Sophomore Trot, timed in 1:53.4, at Balmoral.
"I was very happy with him and even with the outside post I thought he'd hold his own and would definitely get us a check," Krista said. "What really impresses me is he's shown a lot of versatility on different sized tracks.
"He's been healthy all year which has been a blessing and doesn't have any real lameness issues," she continued. "He's had to ship all year from our base at Hoosier Park, and we've been forced to qualify him a lot because of his schedule in order to keep him tight."
Krista said she's confident Rompaway Galaxy can handle Maywood's half-mile turns just fine.
"He gets around a half-mile really well--he's versatile, just like his father," she stressed. "After the Galt, he's got two more starts: the Circle City and the Erskin at Hoosier. We'll give him a break after that and then start him back up for next year."
Foaled on April 18, 2011, Rompaway Galaxy is the fourth of five foals out of the Mr Vic mare Rompaway Wynona 2, 2:00m ($63,665) and is a half-brother to the gelding Patches Five Six 4, 1:59.f ($42,298). His sire, Rompaway Wally 6, 1:53.4z ($291,351), is a hardy son of Conway Hall 3, 1:53.4m ($818,884).
By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park
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