09/04/2011 6:08PM

Saratoga: Inexperience proves no problem for Grace Hall in Spinaway

Tom Keyser
Grace Hall, making just the second start of her career, captures the Grade 1 Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Watching Grace Hall train in the weeks following her debut win at Delaware Park gave trainer Tony Dutrow the feeling that running her in Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga was the right thing to do even though she had just the one start.

 “We knew there was a lot of risk here, we knew we were in deep water,’’ Dutrow said. “I was led to believe to take the chance today; everybody supported me and here we are.’’

 Here was the Saratoga winner’s circle after Grace Hall rallied past the 3-for-3 Judy the Beauty inside the sixteenth pole en route to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $250,000 Spinaway. Judy the Beauty, the 2-1 favorite, finished second, nine lengths ahead of And Why Not, who was compromised by a slow start.

 Georgie’s Angel, the Schuylerville winner, finished fourth and was followed by True Feelings, Baffle Me, Born Bullish, and Lady Pecan.

 The victory was the 15th of the meet for owner Michael Dubb, who for the moment tied Mike Repole for leading owner here. Unfortunately for Dubb, Repole won the next race when Silver Screamer wired a field of claimers on the turf.

 Under Ramon Dominguez, Grace Hall actually broke on top, but was neatly taken back into fourth position as Born Bullish set the pace, pressed to her inside by Georgie’s Angel through fractions of 22.71 and 45.96 seconds.

 Judy the Beauty was a close up third under Jeffrey Sanchez and made a three-wide bid for the lead at the quarter pole. Judy the Beauty wrested the lead from Georgie’s Angel inside the eighth pole, but couldn’t hold off Grace Hall, who was following Judy the Beauty throughout.

 Grace Hall, a daughter of Empire Maker, covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.74 and returned $8.80 to win.

 “At the three-eighths pole I kind of tested her,’’ Dominguez said. ``She jumped on the bridle so well and I realized there was nobody on my outside. I chose to stay behind them a little longer so I wouldn’t move out so early. I realized the other filly was still running, but I felt pretty confident I’d be able to run her down.

 Wesley Ward, owner and trainer of Judy the Beauty, said his filly may have been too close to the pace trying to remain in striking distance of Georgie’s Angel.

 “We kind of forced the pace a little bit trying to be right there with who we thought was going to be tough and how the track was playing today,’’ Ward said. “Maybe we should have taken her back a little bit, but hindsight’s always 20-20. She ran really good, I’m really proud of her. This is the toughest race historically in the country to win for a 2-year-old filly. I’m disappointed, but I’m happy at the same time.’’