04/29/2012 10:21AM

Kentucky Oaks: Grace Hall goes nice and easy over sloppy track

Barbara D. Livingston
Grace Hall, winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks in her most recent start, had her final workout before the Kentucky Oaks on Sunday at Palm Meadows.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Under less-than-ideal circumstances, Grace Hall, the potential Kentucky Derby Oaks favorite, had her final preparations for Friday’s race by working a half-mile in 52.32 seconds Sunday morning over a sloppy Palm Meadows surface.

Trainer Tony Dutrow postponed a scheduled Saturday work due to wet weather. Unfortunately, conditions weren’t much better in south Florida on Sunday. But feeling the need to do something five days out from the race, Dutrow and assistant Carol Fisher decided to let Grace Hall work an easy half-mile shortly after 9 a.m., following a renovation break.

Leaving her stable pony at the 5 1/2-furlong pole, Grace Hall was galloping along to the pole and under a snug hold from Fisher she went an opening eighth in 13.51 seconds, a quarter in 26.48, and got her final quarter in 25.84. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:05.37.

“She got around there safe,” Fisher said. “She behaved herself. Sometimes she gets a little goofy by herself. We were going to breeze her in company but I don’t that would have worked out so well.”

Dutrow, at Delaware Park Sunday, was given a description of the work from Palm Meadows clocker Bryan Walls, who described the move as “perfect.”

Dutrow admitted that the last work over a wet track “was not the ideal situation,” but he wanted to do something with the filly, who is coming off a victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

“If we had had a beautiful racetrack she would have worked Saturday in 49 or 50,” Dutrow said. “Today, she went 52 over a sloppy track. I got my fingers crossed that the same result will happen.”