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Nordic Truce Eyes Hall of Fame Stakes

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Nordic Truce, last seen yielding grudgingly to Krypton in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont Park on June 4, will likely return to the races next Friday in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes, trainer Christophe Clement said Thursday.

 

The 3-year-old son of Yes It’s True worked a half-mile over the Oklahoma turf course on Wednesday in 50.65.

 

“He was a touch unlucky in the Hill Prince,” Clement said.  “He worked well yesterday and I’m not sure we’ll work him back before the race, we’ll see.”

 

Prior to his defeat in the Hill Prince, Nordic Truce followed his maiden victory with two straight stakes wins, including the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland on April 2.


Also among those being pointed to the $150,000 Hall of Fame is Earle Mack’s Grand Rapport, last-to-first winner in his turf debut at Monmouth Park a month ago.

 

It was the first start this year for the 3-year-old gelded son of Grand Reward, who was given 7 ½ months off over the winter and spring after being injured.

 

“He’s a big, good-looking horse with a tremendous turf family,” said trainer Gary Contessa. “When we brought him back he was about 70 percent, which is exactly what I wanted. He came from dead-last to win at 1 1/8th miles, which is perfect, and earned an 8 on the Ragozin sheets.”

 

Last year, Grand Rapport broke his maiden in an off-the-turf event going seven furlongs at Saratoga on August 23, and then ran in the Futurity at Belmont Park and the Remsen at Aqueduct, both Grade 2 events in which he finished seventh and sixth, respectively.

 

“It’s nice when you have an owner like Earle Mack, who is so patient,” said the trainer. “If I needed another two months with the horse, he would have been fine with it. We’re excited about running him.”


Wertheimer and Frere’s Interactif, seventh in the 1 ½-mile, Grade 1 Belmont Stakes June 5 and second in the 1 1/8th-mile, Grade 2 Virginia Derby July 17, will cut back an additional furlong in the Hall of Fame Stakes. 

 

“We’re backing him up a little,” said Pletcher. “He’s a versatile colt that runs well at different distances. I think he’s at his best on the turf, although he’s had decent races on dirt and pretty good races on synthetic.”

 

 

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