Grace Hall eyeing the G3 Sabin for next start
Alpha Delta Stables’ 4-year-old filly Grace Hall was among the leaders of the 3-year-old filly division last year for trainer Tony Dutrow with victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Delaware Oaks (G2) and Indiana Oaks (G2) before completing her season with a fourth-place finish behind Eclipse champion Royal Delta in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Grace Hall and 5-year-old Royal Delta are on course to meet again as they make their 2013 season debuts in the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3) next Sun., Jan. 17 going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park.
Grace Hall has posted a series of sharp workouts at Palm Meadows in preparation for her return, most recently a half-mile in 47 2/5 last Friday (Feb. 1). “She’s pretty much ready to go,” said Dutrow. “We’ll just do as little something with her early in the week. Everything has gone on schedule for her so far this winter.”
A daughter of Empire Maker, Grace Hall made two starts at Gulfstream last winter, finishing second as the favorite when beaten a neck by longshot Yara in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) in late February before a 6 ½ lengths romp in the Gulfstream Oaks on Florida Derby Day (Mar. 31). She went on to finish a good third behind Believe You Can in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
In the Breeders’ Cup, Grace Hall dropped back to seventh in the field of eight early and finished fourth, nine lengths behind Royal Delta. “I thought she ran a good race, but I’m not sure she handled the race track as well the east coast tracks she had been running on.”