T. D. Vance, background, holds off Silver Whistle to win the Hall of Fame Stakes.

T. D. Vance, background, holds off Silver Whistle to win the Hall of Fame Stakes.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

T. D. Vance Holds on to Win Hall of Fame Stakes

T.D. Vance, a 3-year-old Rahy gelding trained by H. Graham Motion, outlasted Silver Whistle to win the Aug. 8 National Musuem of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga the same day that racing honored its newest Hall of Famers.

Nine contested the 1 1/8-mile race, and it was High Limit who led the field the first time under the wire and maintained a short lead to the backstretch. T. D. Vance drew even with the leader for a short way on the backstretch, but jockey Todd Kabel soon took him back, but stayed within close striking range. Making his move around the far turn, T. D. Vance surged past High Limit in the stretch, but then had to contend with Silver Whistle charging from the outside. At the wire, it was T. D. Vance winning by a nose in 1:48.15, which was about two seconds off the course record.

The victory was the fourth in seven starts for T. D. Vance, who won the July 16 Toronto Cup at Woodbine last time out. Bred by TAC Holdings and owned by Donald Adam, T. D. Vance paid $35 to win, $15 to place, and $10.80 to show. Silver Whistle returned $7.70 and $5.80, and third-place finisher Crown Point $6.30.

"I think it was really key that (Todd ) knew the horse because the biggest thing is getting this horse to settle," Motion said. " I thought he would be fine as long as he relaxed. Last time in Canada, Todd got him to the lead a little earlier than usual and he got a little `gawky.' He did a great job today. The horse is very talented. Every race has been a progression to this race to get him to settle. He showed a lot of ability. This was a step up, so I'm not overly surprised at the price ($35). I thought (Bobby) Frankel's horse (High Limit, No. 8) was the horse to beat because he had speed and was an unknown entity.

"As for next, I would have reservations about running him beyond a mile and an eighth, but that is not to say I wouldn't try it."

The victory was the first at Saratoga for Kabel. "We were hoping to get this horse off the pace today, and once I got him relaxed, he was fine," he said. "But when a horse came behind him, he took the bit up with me and he forced me to move a little earlier than I would have liked, because he is a horse that keeps looking around and the longer you keep him busy, the better. He's very improved off his last race, and I'm looking forward to see him run again."

With the victory, T. D. Vance improved to four wins in seven career starts.

(Chart, Equibase)