Decorated Invader closes late to win Hall of Fame at Saratoga

Decorated Invader closes late to win Hall of Fame at Saratoga
Photo: Susie Raisher
On a Wednesday media call, Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds, owner of Decorated Invader, knew it wasn’t going to be an easy win for the favorite in the Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes. However, despite a good field, he believed in the colt.

“All in all, I’d like to think we’re in a position where we have a shot to deal with anything that’s thrown at this horse,” Finley said.

On Saturday at Saratoga, Decorated Invader backed up his words.

Get Smokin, trained by Thomas Bush, blew out of the gate like a bullet in the 1 1/8-mile turf trip for 3-year-olds. He opened a huge lead on the field, and was up by eight lengths heading into the far turn. "I tried to get the jump on the other horse," Get Smokin jockey Jose Ortiz said in a press release. "But the other horse is a very nice horse. I think my horse's game is a mile flat."

Decorated Invader sat in second for most of the race, but turned on the jets late, turning the eight-lenghth lead into six, then four and then two before finally taking the lead in the home stretch as Get Smokin finished in second place.

Decorated Invader’s jockey, Joel Rosario, said after the race that he was never in doubt that the colt would be able to close the gap.

“It took a little bit of time to get to the horse on the lead,” Rosario said. “He kept running. But I could see (Decorated Invader) was enjoying what he was doing and was going forward. I was never worried about horses coming from behind as I knew I had more left.” Quarter-mile fractions for the race were 23.85, 48.98, 1:13.52 and 1:37.57. The winning time was 1:49.29.

The win is the son of Declaration of War’s third victory in a row, with the last coming in the Pennine Ridge (G2) at Belmont Park. He is now expected to head towards the Saratoga Derby on Aug. 15.

Decorated Invader’s win paid out $2.80.

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