Carl Spackler Loops Field To Win National Museum Of Racing Hall Of Fame

Carl Spackler enjoyed a ground-saving trip under Tyler Gaffalione before tipping out late in the turn and eliminating the gulf between his rivals to capture Friday’s Grade 2, $500,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown for Bob Edwards’ e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, the Lope de Vega colt made amends for an off-the-board effort in the Grade 2 American Turf with a sustained stretch-drive surge in the re-scheduled one-mile inner turf test for sophomores to top an exacta over stablemate Appraise.

Brown credited Edwards for allowing the horse time to recuperate after the American Turf on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

“After the race at Churchill, I shipped him back home to Belmont and he just was not looking well. He got sick on the trip and e Five Racing is always patient with their horses. Bob said, ‘Listen, just point him to Saratoga and get him right’ and the horse really blossomed,” Brown said. “The last couple of weeks, his coat was shining, the horse had his energy back. His last two works were excellent. I felt even though it was off a layoff and it was a big race, he was ready to fire a big one.”

Appraise broke alertly and led the field into the opening turn as Mysterious Night, who was off a beat slow, rushed into contention to press the pace through an opening quarter-mile in 24.37 seconds over the good going.

Carl Spackler traveled comfortably in sixth position to the inside of stablemate Mischievous Angel as Mysterious Night took over through a half-mile in 47.45 with Appraise content to track in second with General Jim in third to his outside.

Carl Spackler advanced with an inside run midway through the final turn before angling off the hedge to travel around Behind Enemy Lines and tip five-wide for the stretch run. Appraise assumed the lead at the stretch call and stayed on stubbornly, but he could not hold off Carl Spackler, who vaulted past at the sixteenth pole to secure the 2 1/4-length win in a final time of 1:36.29.

Appraise staved off the late charge of Grade 3 Manila-winner More Than Looks by a nose to secure place honors with Ocean Vision, Behind Enemy Lines, Mischievous Angel, Mysterious Night, Bat Flip and General Jim completing the order of finish.

Carl Spackler and Tyler Gaffalione winning the Hall of Fame at Saratoga

Brown said moving the race back one week after heavy rains forced the cancellation of the final four races on last Friday’s card was beneficial to all involved.

“I want to credit NYRA for doing the right thing and rescheduling the race. When you’re putting up a half-million dollars, you never want to treat it by just getting it over with,” said Brown, who picked up his seventh stakes win of the meet. “You want to treat it to put on the best horse race you can. That’s the approach they took by canceling, and that’s not just because I won. I’ve been complimenting them before the race and all week. If you put up that kind of purse money, you’ve got to put on the best race for everyone involved: the owners, the gamblers, the trainers and jockeys and alike.”

Gaffalione said he rode with confidence after overcoming a troubled start.

“You know, it really didn’t really go as planned. I wanted to be a lot closer to the pace, but coming out of the gate I actually lost my stirrup. My horse hit the gate pretty hard, but he settled real nice for me,” Gaffalione said. “Going down the backside, I was able to get the one-path off the fence and he was taking me. A spot opened up coming into the stretch and he really finished up well. My horse was very comfortable where he was, and I was very content where I was.”

Klaravich Stables’ Appraise, an Irish-bred Kodiac colt, finished second to returning rival Mysterious Night in the Grade 1 Summer in September at Woodbine Racetrack. He made his seasonal debut last out with a three-quarter length allowance score against elders on July 8 at Belmont Park.

Prat said he was impressed with how Appraise handled the early rush of a headstrong Mysterious Night.

“He jumped so well and he was able to get himself alone on the lead,” Prat said. “I wa

Carl Spackler (second from left) rallies wide into the stretch before going on to victory in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes

s really pleased with that and then had some pressure from the outside, so I took him back a little bit, but he relaxed well once I got him covered up. He made a good run turning for home. He just got beat by a better horse. It was a good race.”

Carl Spackler finished second to eventual Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational-winner Far Bridge in his January debut at Gulfstream Park. He followed with an 8 3/4-length romp on February 25 traveling one mile over firm Gulfstream green ahead of his whiff in the American Turf.

Bred in Ireland by Edwards’ Fifth Avenue Bloodstock, Carl Spackler is out of the Brown-trained and e Five Racing Throughbreds campaigned grade stakes-winning More Than Ready mare Zindaya, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-winner Western Aristocrat.

Friday’s success was a family affair in many ways for Edwards, whose daughter Cassidy – a freelance photographer working with NYRA track photographer Adam Coglianese – is married to Gaffalione.

“You have a horse that I bred out of my first winning mare, my son in-law is the jockey and my daughter is taking pictures with Adam. We’re infiltrating,” said Edwards, with a laugh. “I bred three of the horses in the race: Bat Flip, General Jim and this one.”


Carl Spackler banked $275,000 in victory while improving his record to 4-2-1-0. He returned $6.70 for a $2 win bet.

Live racing resumes Saturday at Saratoga with an 11-race card featuring the $150,000 Galway in Race 7, the Grade 2, $200,000 Herb Moelis Memorial Saratoga Special in Race 8 and the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, in Race 9. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

Saratoga Live will present live coverage and analysis of the Saratoga Race Course summer meet on the networks of FOX Sports. For the broadcast schedule and channel finder, visit


NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

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