Updated on 09/15/2013 11:10PM

Trophies stolen in burglary at National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

The 1905 Saratoga Special Trophy was among those stolen from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Five trophies, including the 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy awarded to Africander, were stolen late Thursday night from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in a “smash-and-grab” burglary, the museum said Friday.

The trophies also included the 1903 Brighton Cup Trophy, the 1905 Saratoga Special Trophy, the 1914 Brook Cup Handicap Steeplechase Trophy, and the 1923 Grand National Steeplechase Trophy, according to the museum. The trophies, which are made of gold and silver, had not been recently appraised, but the museum is consulting with its insurers and appraisal experts to determine the value, according to Brien Bouyea, a spokesman for the museum.

“They are obviously very old and very rare as they stand, whether or not [the thieves] are going to try to sell them or melt them down,” Bouyea said.

The burglary follows a similar theft at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame last December in Goshen, N.Y. In that burglary, 14 trophies worth an estimated $300,000 were stolen. Bouyea said police are attempting to determine if there is a connection between the two crimes.

The burglary is being investigated by the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

In a statement, Lt. John Catone, the investigating officer, said that the police received an alarm call at the museum at 11:46 p.m. Upon arriving one minute later, “the perpetrator had already fled the scene,” Catone wrote.

“Investigators have secured evidence, are reviewing surveillance footage, and interviewing neighbors,” the statement said.

Bouyea declined to provide details about the break-in, deferring to the police.

The museum will be closed until Sept. 19 to assist in the investigation, Bouyea said.

“Right now, the museum is a crime scene,” Bouyea said.