Gallorette was a large almost Amazonian race mare topping out at over 16.1. She raced for five years and her record stands at: 72 starts, 21 wins, 20 seconds, 13 thirds, with earnings of $445,535. On its face, her accomplishments don’t look very impressive, but what it doesn’t show is the depth of her competition in those years.
Since filly only races were very limited in her day, especially in the older mare category, she raced mainly against colts throughout her extended career. She plied her trade in one of the most competitive handicap divisions in American Turf history. There was Triple Crown Winner Assault, Handicap champion and Horse of the Year, Armed; rags to riches champion, Stymie. And then there were top horses: Phalanx, Pavot, Bridal Flower, Lucky Draw, Polynesian, But Why Not and many others.
Gallorette was sired by the Irish bred Challenger II who was undefeated at two and was the favorite for the 1930 English Derby. His owner, Lord Dewar died a few days before the race and his heir sold the horse to Maryland breeder William L. Brann.
Shortly before Challenger II shipped to America, he cut up his hocks on barbed wire and was retired to stud after a handful of poor races in California. He proved to be a good stallion siring not only Gallorette but two time Horse of the Year Challedon and champion Bridal Flower.
Her dam Gallette was by Sir Gallahad III and had a limited racing career on both the flat and hurdles. She came into the hands of Preston Burch from a circuitous route having been offered for sale from a high of $11,000 to a low of $250.
Because Brann wanted to repeat the Sir Gallahad III and Challenger II cross that resulted in Challedon, he and Burch entered into a partnership on the breeding of Gallette. They would share in the foals alternately. Brann got Gallorette as the first foal. Sadly Gallette’s next foals showed little talent.
Because of her size as a two year old, Gallorette only started in eight races beginning in late September. She won three with her best finish a promising third behind Busher in the Selima Stakes.
The next year in 1945, she started out in early May winning an allowance race beating Hoop Jr. that year’s Kentucky Derby winner. She finished a game second to Jeep in the Wood Memorial before racking up wins against her own sex in the Acorn, Pimlico and Delaware Oaks. Her best finish against colts was in the Empire City Stakes where she outlasted Pavot in a bitter stretch duel. She was unable to defeat top colts in the Pimlico Special finishing fourth behind Armed, First Fiddle and Stymie but ahead of Polynesian and Pot O’ Luck. Her final record showed 13 starts with five victories.
As a three year old, Gallorette was considered a nice filly who showed some true flashes of brilliance, but overall she was no match for the top filly and Horse of the Year, Busher.
With Busher out of the picture because of injuries, Gallorette came into her own in 1946 as Champion Handicap Mare and further enjoyed one of her most lucrative racing seasons garnering over $159,000.
After surviving a severe infection that required part of her tail being amputated, she started 18 times winning the Beldame against fillies and the Metropolitan, Bay Shore and Brooklyn against colts.
It was the latter race that showed the fierce determination of Gallorette. In the Brooklyn, she would face Stymie at the height of his career. Out of the gate Helioptic set a strong pace with Gallorette lying in fourth. Stymie was in his usual position dead last and spotting the field over ten lengths. At the top of the stretch, she took the lead. But now Stymie was coming. With his copper mane flying, he had circled the field and was bearing down on Gallorette with every lengthening stride.
Stymie caught Gallorette and put his head in front and was now a half length to the good. But the fight had only just begun. Gallorette summoned all of her strength and fought back until inch by inch she outlasted Stymie by a neck.
Her next two racing seasons saw victories in the Queens County Handicap, against Stymie, the Wilson Stakes, Whitney, and Carter. She was second in eight other stakes and third in several more. Gallorette was retired in 1948 as the leading money winning filly having broken Busher’s record.
In 1948 Gallorette was sold for $150,000 to Mrs. Marie Moore of High Hope Farm in Virginia. As a Broodmare she produced several nice foals and factors in the pedigrees of many European runners.
Mlle. Lorette: the dam of Irish stakes winner Lovely Gale runner-up in the 1962 Irish One Thousand Guineas, and of English stakes winner Mlle. Lorette who is the second dam of Hatta and of multiple stakes winner Au Printemps, dam of 1987 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Success Express.
Mlle. Lorette is also the third dam of 1997 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (ENG-I) winner Air Express, a Classic winner in Italy and Germany;
Gallamoud: unraced but produced 1966 Irish St. Leger winner White Gloves II
Galla Vista: also unraced and is the second dam of English Group III winner Limone and the third dam of Australian Stakes winner Pavista.
Courbette: was a multiple stakes winner in Ireland. She is the dam of 1967 Jockey Club Cup winner Dancing Moss (by Ballymoss), who led the Argentine general sire list in 1973. She is also the second dam of Irish champion juvenile filly Minstrella. Courbette factors in the dam line of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner.
Gallorette died in died in 1959 shortly after being pensioned as a Broodmare. She was voted Champion Older Mare in 1946 and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1962. In the Blood-Horse rankings of top 100 American Thoroughbred Champions of the 20th Century, Gallorette comes in at number 45 and is the third highest ranking filly or mare behind Ruffian and Busher.
Gallorette was a large mare tough as they come. Even tougher than some of the colts she faced. She raced in an age of giants of the turf and more than held her own.