Graeme Hall stalked the pacesetters and then blew by to take the Stuyvesant (gr. III) with ease to open the Breeders' Cup card Saturday at Belmont Park.
Under John Velazquez, Graeme Hall sat right off Burning Marque and Open Sesame as the field made its way down the long backstretch. The nine-furlong race was run around one turn. In the turn for home, Graeme Hall moved to the lead and paraded down the stretch. The two front-runners folded and Country Be Gold came on for second and Cat's at Home for third.
Owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk and trained by Todd Pletcher, heavily favored Graeme Hall paid $3.70, $2.50 and $2.10. Country Be Gold returned $3 and $2.40 and Cat's at Home was worth $3.20 to show.
Graeme Hall covered the distance in 1:47.95. The fractions were :23.96, :47.45, 1:11.85 and 1:35.76.
Closing in on $1 million in earnings, Graeme Hall is by Dehere and out of the Crafty Prospector mare Win Crafty Lady.