08/07/2012 1:10PM

Saratoga: Gleaves brings in Csaba for National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes

Coady Photography
Csaba will move back to turf for Friday's Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.

Phil Gleaves first came to Saratoga in 1977 with Lucien Lauren and then continued his regular pilgrimages here working for Woody Stephens until relocating in south Florida on a permanent basis in 1999. Gleaves still tries to make it back to Saratoga to race whenever he can, and on Friday he’ll return once again with his top 3-year-old Csaba, who runs in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes.

Csaba, a son of Kitten’s Joy, is coming off his best race yet, an eight-length victory in an overnight stakes at Calder on July 21. That performance came on the main track. The Hall of Fame is carded for the turf, a surface Csaba has tried just twice, with mixed results. Csaba finished third in Gulfstream’s Palm Beach behind Howe Great and Dullahan in March, and fifth in the Dania Beach there last December.

“His last effort was a breakthrough race for him, and I thought he deserved a chance with these kind of horses off that one,” Gleaves said. “Grass is still a question. But he’s got the pedigree, and his two turf races weren’t that bad, especially the Palm Beach. And he’s a lot better horse now than he was this winter.

“This is my fourth straight year coming up here with a stakes horse, the last three with Mambo Meister. I also brought along Miami Cat, another 3-year-old, who we discovered to be a non-sweater after his last start. So coming here this summer is a nice break for both me and the horses.”

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