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.