10/03/2012 6:04PM

Belmont: Belle of the Hall, listed as scratched, wins Valor Lady Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Belle of the Hall (6), inadvertently marked as scratched from the Valor Lady, gets to the wire under Irad Ortiz a neck in front of Agave Kiss.

ELMONT, N.Y.  - Belle of the Hall, inadvertently scratched in the morning but allowed to run for purse money only in the afternoon, rallied to nip Agave Kiss by a neck in Wednesday's $76,000 Valor Lady Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Valor Lady was scheduled to be run on the turf, but was moved to the dirt - as were four other grass races - when New York racing officials felt the turf was too wet to be used for racing.

Before the release of a task force report last Friday that was critical of the fact the New York Racing Association's racing office was in charge of taking scratches on some race days, that role was put back in the hands of the stewards full-time on Wednesday.

Carmine Donofrio, the steward for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, took calls to scratch 39 horses off the program Wednesday morning - 11 were scratched out of the Valor Lady alone. Donofrio inadvertently scratched Belle of the Hall, though her trainer, Tom Albertrani, did not call in the scratch, which first appeared on the NYRA website shortly after 11 a.m.

"We noticed her name on the Internet for showing she was scratched," Albertrani said. "I called up the racing office and they switched me to Carmine. I said 'Who scratched my horse?' Carmine said he accidentally put a line through her name for some reason.' "

Donofrio, who admitted the error, said that once a scratch is announced, it cannot be reversed. "Once it goes out, it goes out," he said.

Belle of the Hall was allowed to run for purse money only. Under Irad Ortiz, Belle of the Hall rallied widest of all in the muddy stretch and nailed pacesetting Agave Kiss in the final strides.

Belle of the Hall, a 5-year-old daughter of Graeme Hall owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, covered seven furlongs in 1:23.55. She earned her connections $48,000 in purse money.

For betting purposes, Agave Kiss returned $4.20 as the second betting choice. She finished 10 1-2 lengths in front of Catinatree. Mildly Offensive, the 3-5 favorite, was last.

nybredfilly96 More than 1 year ago
Carmine is a nice man who knows the biz and been around 4-eva..everyone makes mistakes.. but ..it just evidences the need for change not just with NYRA, but the NYSRWB and the whole kit and kaboodle!
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
West Point Thoroughbred's had a winner? I thought they were out of business. Hadn't heard much from Terry Finley and Buzz Chase sine 2007.
Dennis More than 1 year ago
Ya goota luv the State of New York, they only hire screw ups. This guy probably couldn't get a job at McD because he can't flip brugers.
FMeatball More than 1 year ago
............ and this awrsshole still has a job ??!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Donofrrio was heard to exclaim after the the race I"LL HAVE ANOTHER"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This clown works for the state of ny not NYRA. but NYRA takes the hit because they are front and center.
Jonathan More than 1 year ago
Isn't this the same steward who "inadvertantly" flipped a switch to close betting on a race at SARATOGA --- FIVE MINUTES early because he saw a row of televisions showing various simulcasts nationwide...and thought one of them was live racing at the Spa??? This guy really needs to be held accountable!!
Tom Cunniff More than 1 year ago
new york racing has no clue the new board will be as bad as the present
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Donofrio works for the "state" wagering board, not nyra. Why he is still in his position after the Saratoga disaster is only a prelude of what is to come under Cuomo reign of terror
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
This is the same incompetent buffoon that closed wagering early because his mind was somewhere else. Plus how many botched take downs and non take downs. Guess this job is even better than a weatherman, you never have to be right.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
What a nightmare , the pk 4 wood of paid a g more. Agave Kiss hates sloppy track. we took the 225 instead. Way to go NY.