10/01/2011 5:02PM

Delaware: Grace Hall passes audition for BC Juvenile Fillies by taking Blue Hen

Grace Hall will be heading to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies after winning her two-turn debut in the Blue Hen.

Grade 1 stakes-winning 2-year-old filly Grace Hall easily passed her test to see if she could handle two turns when she cruised to a 5 3/4-length romp in Saturday’s $75,000 Blue Hen Stakes at Delaware Park.

The mile-and-70-yard Blue Hen was chosen as Grace Hall’s prep for the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs because it was held at her home track and trainer Tony Dutrow wanted the daughter of Empire Maker to get experience going two turns on dirt before going on to Kentucky.

Dutrow bypassed two Grade 1 races with much bigger purses, the Frizette at Belmont Park and the Alcibiades at Keeneland, in favor of the Blue Hen.

“I have to be happy right now,” Dutrow said.  “It all went well and as expected.  I am not seeing anything that alarms me or concerns me.  It looked relatively easy for her.  I am really happy she has gained the two-turn experience today.  She still has a lot to prove just like the rest of them, but I am feeling very good that she is well prepared going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.”

Grace Hall ($2.80), winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga in her previous start, sat second behind comfortable fractions of 24.58 and 48.66 seconds set by Glinda the Good, the 3-1 second choice in a field reduced to six by two scratches. Jockey Joe Rocco Jr., riding Grace Hall for the first time, got his mount to challenge for the lead with three furlongs remaining. Grace Hall put her head in front after six furlongs in 1:12.88, and she then opened up under a hand ride though the stretch to complete the distance on a fast track in 1:42.56.

Glinda the Good, coming off a maiden win going the same distance as the Blue Hen at Monmouth Park, held second by three-quarters of a length. Always Here Too, the fifth-place finisher in the Arlington-Washington Lassie on Polytrack, got third by a head over 18-1 outsider Filare l’Oro.