Updated on 09/17/2011 12:07PM

Stroll's rating ability big plus


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It would appear Stroll is a quicker study than his older brother Patrol.

A year ago, Patrol went into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes as a heavy favorite. But, his ineffectiveness racing from off the pace proved his undoing when he got off slow, rushed to the front, and eventually tired to third. Patrol has since learned to rate and has won several stakes.

Stroll already knows how to rate and that has helped him win two straight races and makes him the horse to beat in Monday's 19th running of the Hall of Fame Stakes, provided the Grade 2, $150,000 race stays on the turf.

Eleven horses were entered to run if the Hall of Fame remains on turf. An additional three horses were entered in hopes the race is moved to the main track.

Stroll won his maiden last summer on Saratoga turf, but did not win again until May 10, when he took an entry-level allowance by six lengths at Belmont. Stroll came back on July 5 to take the Lamplighter at Monmouth, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.09.

"[Mike] Luzzi rode him, took him back, did a great job with him, and he just exploded,' trainer Bill Mott said, referring to the May race. "The other day he rated pretty well for Jerry [Bailey]. That's probably been the key for him.'

Bailey rides Stroll from post 9.

Sharp Impact, Hidden Truth, and Urban King - the first three finishers from the 1 1/4-mile Lexington Stakes - are in the Hall of Fame.

Sharp Impact is a threat on either surface. He won a second-level allowance race on dirt at Belmont in front-running fashion. He returned to win the Lexington on turf, also in gate-to-wire fashion. Sharp Impact, the 122-pound highweight, looms the main speed from the rail.

Trainer Neil Howard said Hidden Truth will run on either surface. In the Lexington, he rallied wide in the stretch and could not catch Sharp Impact. The turn back to nine furlongs may help him.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said Urban King backed off his feed prior to the Lexington and ran better than he expected. Frankel hopes for a step forward Monday.

If the race moves to the dirt, Colita could be the one to beat. Colita won a second-level allowance race in the mud on May 21 at Belmont, but was withdrawn from the Dwyer after his stifle locked up. The horse has been moved to trainer Todd Pletcher's barn since he last ran.

Awesome Time and Christine's Outlaw, who were separated by a nose in the Leonard Richards, are also threats on dirt.