LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable's Casa Creed got his first graded stakes score in Friday afternoon's Grade 2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes, attending the pace and nailing Sombeyay on the wire to win by a head. The 3-year-old son of Jimmy Creed, ridden by Junior Alvarado for trainer Bill Mott, covered a mile over Saratoga's firm turf in 1:33.72. Casa Creed was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight sophomores.
“[Sombeyay, No. 1] was running very game,” said Mott. “It looked like we were going to get to him, and then he got away from us a little, but [Casa Creed] really showed us a lot of courage the entire stretch run. He was very courageous, and it looked like he gave it everything he had.”
Sombeyay broke sharply from his inside post position, but Award Winner rushed up his outside to take the lead. Staying off the rail, Award Winner led through fractions of :23.41 and :47.37 while Sombeyay and Casa Creed flanked him on either side.
Casa Creed, three-wide around the far turn, and Sombeyay at the rail drew even with the leading Award Winner nearing the head of the stretch. Award Winner dropped back at the three-sixteenths pole, and Sombeyay held the lead until two strides before the wire when Casa Creed dug in to win by a head. Sombeyay had to settle for second, while Global Access got up for third. English Bee finished fourth.
“I got a little worried at the three-eighths pole,” admitted Alvarado. “I thought I had the race measured. I never thought [Somebeyay] was going to come through the rail at that point. I let the horse in front kind of go at a nice pace. Then the horse squeezed through the rail, it made things a little harder, and I had to start working a little early. But I knew turning for home that he's a fighter and he never gives up. ”
Bred in Kentucky by Silver Springs Stud, Casa Creed was a $15,000 weanling at the OBS Winter Mixed sale. He was pinhooked through the Keeneland September sale where he brought a final bid of $105,000. The colt broke his maiden in his second start at the Spa, and won the listed Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream several starts later to kick off his 3-year-old season. Relegated to second or third in three of his subsequent four starts, Casa Creed finally found the winner's circle in the Hall of Fame. Overall, his record stands at 3-2-1 from 11 starts for earnings of over $350,000.
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