Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes goes this Friday, August 10th from Saratoga Raceway. Three year olds will be featured as they go one and one sixteenth miles in Saratoga's inner turf course. A purse of $200,000 is on the line.
The Hall of Fame Stakes has attracted an impressive field of nine for race 9 on Saratoga's Friday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a look at the nine combatants and what brought them to this Grade 2 event.
Daddy Nose Best - finished tenth by 11 and a half lengths in the Kentucky Derby and really wasn't a factor and then finished a distant ninth in the Preakness. Last time out was another unflattering performance - a fourth in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington Park on July 14th. He won the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on the heels of a very impressive win at the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on earlier this year but he looked out of his element against the best in the land. Hopes are that a return to turf will be his good luck charm!
Yari - will be making his stakes debut for trainer Chad Brown after winning three of his last four races and having finished second twice in his other three career starts - all starts on grass. Yari is your second choice but takes a huge step up in competition in the Hall of Fame Stakes.
Csaba - has won two of his last three starts including an Allowance at Calder and the El Kaiser Stakes last time out also at Calder. Saturday marks Csaba's third start on grass - no wins but the margin of defeat in those races were small.
Skyring - has a staggering 10 starts already in 2012 with three wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 3 American Derby to follow his worst result - a ninth in the Easy Goer Stakes on June 9. Before that were two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming on May 5 and the James W. Murphy Stakes two weeks later. Skyring has three wins, a second and a third place finish in 10 career starts.
Optimizer - entered the Virginia Derby after finishing eleventh in the Kentucky Derby, sixth in the Preakness and tenth in the Belmont Stakes and finished the Virginia in fourth place. A return to turf should benefit Optimizer who has a win in a Maiden Special Weight race, a second in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes and a third in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes - all on turf last year.
Quick Wit - finished an impressive third at the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes on February 11 at Gulfstream after winning a Maiden Special Weight race at Gulfstream on January 28. Since that time things haven't gone so well for the Dale Roman trained colt. A seventh in the Swale was followed by a seventh in the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes in April. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 3 American Derby to follow a win and a second in a pair of Allowance races at Churchill Downs.
Spring to the Sky - will make just his sixth career start after breaking maiden in September and following it up with a fourth and a second place finish in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races. A third in the Duluth Stakes last time out here followed an OK fifth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont in June.
Shkspeare Shaliyah - posted consecutive wins toward the end of 2011 - a Maiden Special Weight score followed by a win at the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont in October. Since that time he has struggled to a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, a seventh in the Count Fleet Stakes a sixth in the James W. Murphy Stakes at Pimlico on May 19 and a tenth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes June 16. Last time out was a fourth in the London Company Stakes at Belmont.
Raconteur - is a main track only entry for trainer Todd Pletcher. He has three wins in five starts this year including the minor Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park in March. Other results this year include an eleventh last time out in the Arkansas Derby in April and a seventh in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in March.
Race 9 on Saratoga's Friday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||Spring to the Sky
||Daddy Nose Best