Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group’s Grace Hall took the
lead from Eden’s Moon in Saturday’s Grade 2, $205,600
Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Park and never looked back en route to a 5
3/4-length score under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The Tony Dutrow-trained
daughter of Empire Maker was sent off the 4-5 favorite and returned $3.80 and
$2.20 for completing 1 1/16 miles on the good dirt in 1:41 4/5.
Eden’s Moon set opening fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 1/5 before Grace Hall
took over rounding the turn. Wine Princess followed her in passing Eden’s Moon,
but could never catch the eventual winner. Eden’s Moon filled the third spot,
with Holiday Soiree and Uptown Bertie completing the order of finish. Amie’s
Dini, Chernomorochka, Confession and Grace for Grace.
Grace Hall moved her lifetime record to 10-6-2-1 and has now banked
$1,281,360 in career earnings.
The bay lass opened her career with a trio of wins, breaking her maiden at
Delaware Park before capturing the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga and
returning to Delaware to take the Blue Hen Stakes last season. She closed out
her juvenile campaign with a nice second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies,
then began her quest for the Kentucky Oaks in the Grade 2 Davona Dale, where she
just missed by a neck on the wire.
Grace Hall quickly rebounded next out in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks,
romping by 6 1/2 lengths in that contest, but could do no better than fourth in
the Kentucky Oaks. She rebounded with an easy win in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks,
but entered this one following the first unplaced run in her career when fifth
in the Grade 1 Alabama.
Bred in Kentucky by Darley, Grace Hall sold for $95,000 as a Keeneland
September yearling. She is the most successful offspring out of the Ezzoud
Irish-bred mare Season’s Greetings, who captured a listed race in France while
placing in a Group 2 and a pair of Group 3 contests. Season’s Greetings is a
half-sister to Group 3-placed Legend of Spring and listed-placed Deep Space.
Grace Hall’s third dam is multiple Grade 1 queen Life at the Top, who placed
in the 1986 Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes before going on in the breeding
shed to foal Group 3 victress Elizabeth Bay. That one is the dam of Grade 3
winner Bayeux, Group 3-placed listed star Colonial and Dunnes River, herself the
dam of 2010 Group 1 Prix Ganay scorer, Cutlass Bay; Group 2 hero Boscobel; and
Group 3 stakes winner Crested.
This female family is also responsible for 1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont
Stakes champion Bold Forbes as well as undefeated Grade 1-winning sire Saratoga