Belle of the Hall Runs for Purse Money Only, Wins Valor Lady
Belle of the Hall was inadvertently scratched in the morning, but allowed to compete for purse money only in Wednesday’s Valor Lady Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Valor Lady, originally scheduled for the turf, was moved to the main track and reduced to a field of four. There were only three betting interests...
According to DRF.com, “Before the release of a task force report last Friday that was critical of the fact the New York Racing Association's racing office was in charge of taking scratches on some race days, that role was put back in the hands of the stewards full-time on Wednesday.”
“Carmine Donofrio, the steward for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, took calls to scratch 39 horses off the program Wednesday morning - 11 were scratched out of the Valor Lady alone. Donofrio inadvertently scratched Belle of the Hall, though her trainer, Tom Albertrani, did not call in the scratch, which first appeared on the NYRA website shortly after 11 a.m.”
"We noticed her name on the Internet for showing she was scratched," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "I called up the racing office and they switched me to Carmine. I said 'Who scratched my horse?' Carmine said he accidentally put a line through her name for some reason.' "
Donofrio, who admitted the error, said that once a scratch is announced, it cannot be reversed. "Once it goes out, it goes out," he said.
Under the talented youngster Irad Ortiz, Jr., Belle of the Hall (known as “Belle” around the barn) sat three to four lengths off the pace in the early going. She ranged up on the turn, came wide, and continued on gamely down the stretch, passing Agave Kiss is the final yards. Belle earned a career best 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the race. A daughter of Graeme Hall, she has a record of 22-6-2-2 and earnings of $433,170.
“Everything worked out today,” said Tom Albertrani. “This mare really likes the mud, she’s run well every time we’ve put her on a wet track. I told Irad to be no more than five lengths from the lead early, and he followed directions perfectly. In her last couple races, she dropped a little too far off the pace and then had too much to do.”
“It’s great to see this mare back in the winner’s circle,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “I’m thrilled for her Partners. I give Tom (Albertrani) and his team credit for acting quickly when they noticed she was mistakenly scratched. He’s done a fantastic job with her over the years. She’s sound, happy, and competitive.”