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Field of Nine for Rescheduled Hall of Fame Stakes

Take two for the $500,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T) is set for Aug. 11 at Saratoga Race Course as horsemen and New York Racing Association officials are hoping Mother Nature will not interfere the second time around for the turf stakes for 3-year-olds.

A field of nine is entered for Friday’s mile turf stakes, all of whom were entered last week when the Aug. 4 race was postponed due to heavy rain that soaked the course. The decision came after the previous race, the Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes (G3T) was contested on turf in a driving rain storm.

Trainer Chad Brown, who once again entered three starters, was pleased with NYRA’s decision to reschedule the rich turf stakes instead of moving it to the sloppy main track at the last minute.

“I didn’t want to see the race on the dirt or knee deep turf,” Brown said. “NYRA made a really good decision to put that half-million dollars to good use and put on a great race and a great wagering race under the right conditions. So what you don’t want to do is run a $500,000 race just to get it over with.”

The new date surely benefited Brown’s Carl Spackler , the 3-1 second choice in the wagering at the time of the cancellation last week. He had been the outside horse in a field of 10 but landed post 2 for Friday’s race. In an odd twist of fate, Bat Flip , who originally had post 2, drew the outside post for Friday’s running.

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Brown said the week delay should not impact any of his horses as he was able to work them this past weekend.

“We had a chance to breeze them over the weekend and keep them in a good rhythm,” said Brown, a six-time winner of the Hall of Fame Stakes. “I don’t think the delay will move the needle on any of the three. They are all three good horses and they will split up after this.”

Carl Spackler, a son of Lope de Vega  named after the iconic “Caddyshack” character, was an impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream Park in late February but did not fire on a hard course at Churchill Downs in the May 6 American Turf Stakes (G2T) and finished eighth.

Brown will also send out Klaravich Stables’ Appraise , a Kodiac  colt who was second in the Summer Stakes (G1T) at 2, and Peter Brant and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Mischievous Angel , a son of Into Mischief   coming off a debut win who was the 6-1 fourth choice in the betting last week.

The wagering favorite last week was Victory Racing Partners’ Manila Stakes (G3T) winner More Than Looks , a More Than Ready colt trained by Cherie DeVaux. Listed at 2-1 when the day’s racing program was curtailed shortly after the original post time for the race, he has won three of his last four starts.

Courtlandt Farms’ General Jim  (Into Mischief) was the 9-2 third choice in the wagering. Trained by Shug McGaughey, the grade 2 winner on dirt broke his maiden on turf at the Spa last year.

Godolphin’s Mysterious Night , a son of Dark Angel  who beat Appraise in the Summer Stakes, was scratched earlier in the day last week, but was re-entered for Friday’s race.

Nagirroc , the original morning-line favorite, was not re-entered.

As for the other three races canceled on the Aug. 4 card, a $95,000 allowance race for New York State-bred filly and mares will be contested as the second race Friday. Eight of the nine original starters will be running in the seven-furlong sprint on the main track.

According to the NYRA racing office, the other two races were listed on overnight sheets but did not fill.

Entries: National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. (G2T)

Saratoga Race Course, Friday, August 11, 2023, Race 8

  • Grade II
  • 1m
  • Inner turf
  • $500,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:08 PM (local)

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