Interactif prevailed in a thrilling three-horse drive to the wire Friday
afternoon at Saratoga Race Course to win the 26th
running of the
Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes by a nose.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, the
Broken Vow colt was wide in third through the early going as 10-1 shot Paris
Vegas grabbed the lead from Krypton and led the field of six 3-year-olds through
a half-mile in 48.58 and three-quarters in 1:12.94. Asked for more as the
pacesetter faded, Interactif took off at the head of the lane to collar Krypton
with a furlong to go, and the two battled to the finish with Interactif getting
his nose down at the wire while holding off the furious late charge from Grand
“Turning for home it looked like
three horses were in it and it was going to be a good race; I’m very excited
with the way he ran today,” said Castellano of Interactif, who covered the 1
1/8th miles over the firm inner turf in 1:48.34.
Krypton was a head back in third,
followed by Nordic Truce, Citrus Hill Kid, and Paris Vegas. Colizeo, entered
Main Track Only as part of an entry with Interactif, was scratched.
“On paper, it looked like a race
that lacked a little pace,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who trains
Interactif for Wertheimer and Frere. “I didn’t expect the French horse [Paris
Vegas] to be on the lead but it sort of worked out. He got carried pretty wide
on the back side, but was able to drop in on the turn.”
Interactif, who in his previous
start was second to Paddy O’Prado in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby, picked up his
first victory of the year from six races, including a second in the Grade 2 San
Felipe, a fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass and a seventh-place finish in the
Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. Overall, he is 4-3-1 from 11 starts.
“He’s been ambitiously placed all year,”
said Pletcher, noting that Interactif won the first stakes race of his career
last summer at Saratoga in taking the Grade 3 With
Anticipation. “It was about trying
to find the right spot for him. We wanted to get back on track, and in the
The 4-5 favorite, Interactif
returned $3.60 for a $2 win bet, and with the winner’s purse of $90,000 has now
earned $563,350. He will next likely start in the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont
Park on October 9, said Pletcher.