08/28/2012 3:17PM

Saratoga: Halls agree to let Breen add new owners

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Kelly Breen (right) leads Bern Identity on the track at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Though he will still be the private trainer for George and Lori Hall, trainer Kelly Breen will be permitted to take on outside clients, both George Hall and Breen said this week.

The Halls and Breen teamed to win last year’s Belmont Stakes with Ruler On Ice and also have won stakes with Pants On Fire, West Side Bernie, Sweet Ducky, Bickersons, and Bold Union. Most recently, the Halls and Breen won the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga with Bern Identity, who is scheduled to make his next start in Monday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Hopeful Stakes.

The Halls are restructuring their stable with a focus more on homebreds. They plan to keep 20 to 30 horses with Breen.

“We want to maintain as high class a stable as possible,” Hall said. “We’ll let some get claimed, we’ll let some be sold. Kelly has had great success, he deserves to be in all the big races, and if he needed to take on some other owners I said I’d be open to it. Many of the top guys have more than one owner, and I want to make sure Kelly has that opportunity as well.”

Breen said the Halls have been instrumental in his career success, saying “they showed me how much fun we can have with class horses and horses we picked out. I can’t thank them enough.”

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Bern Identity could be the next top-class horse for the Halls and Breen. After winning his maiden in his second start by 13 3/4 lengths at Belmont, Bern Identity rallied from off the pace to win the Grade 2 Sanford here July 22 by 1 1/4 lengths.

“This is a big day for this horse and for us,” George Hall said of the Hopeful. “The Sanford, he didn’t win as impressively as we hoped, he had to work hard to win that.”

The Halls and Breen also are expected to supplement Vegas No Show to the Hopeful. Vegas No Show, a half-brother to three stakes winners, including 2009 Whitney winner Bullsbay, won a mile maiden race at Delaware Park in his second start. He was being pointed to a stakes at Delaware Park that failed to fill.

Breen noted that Vegas No Show would be turning back to a one-turn race off a two-turn mile and could possibly benefit from a hot pace in front of him.

“Most of the horses in the Hopeful are speedballs,” Breen said. “We know we have a horse that can go the distance and make a run from behind.”