<BR>1903 Brighton Cup Trophy, won by Hermis

1903 Brighton Cup Trophy, won by Hermis

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Trophies Stolen in Racing Museum Break-In

Smash-and-grab heist included 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy won by Africander.

The Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Police Department is investigating the theft of five valuable trophies from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame the night of Sept. 12.

According to a release from the museum, the trophies taken in the late-night "smash-and-grab" incident were:

1903 Belmont Stakes Trophy, won by Africander
1903 Brighton Cup Trophy, won by Hermis
1905 Saratoga Special Trophy, won by Mohawk II
1914 Brook Cup Handicap Steeplechase Trophy, won by Compliment
1923 Grand National Steeplechase Trophy, won by Sergeant Murphy

According to the Associated Press, Saratoga Springs police said the burglary occurred around 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the museum, located across the street from Saratoga Race Course.

Authorities say the thief broke into the building, setting off an alarm that alerted police, the AP report. Officials say the burglar spent less than three minutes inside but managed to make off with five trophies by smashing their glass display cases located in two separate galleries.

Museum spokesman Brien Bouyea said the museum will be closed at least until Sept. 19 as a result of damage from the break-in.

"It may be later, but we are closed for now until Sept. 19," Bouyea said.

Bouyea said the museum is working with its insurance carrier to try to assess the value of the stolen trophies. Based on conversations with those associated with the museum, including personnel and board members, Bouyea said the heist is believed to the first in the history of the facility.

"These trophies are irreplaceable," said Christopher Dragone, director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. "We are saddened by this unfortunate event and hopeful that the investigation leads to the apprehension of the individual or individuals who committed this crime and the return of the trophies."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Saratoga Springs Police Department at (518) 584-1800.