Bred: Darley (KY)
Sire: Empire Maker
Dam: Season’s Greetings, by Ezzoud
A daughter of 2003 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Empire Maker, Grace Hall was purchased for a moderate price of $95,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Her Irish-bred dam was group stakes-placed in France and Grace Hall easily is the most accomplished of four foals to race.
Mike Caruso of co-owner Bethlehem Stable was a three-time NCAA wrestling champion from Lehigh University in the mid-60s and longtime resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Grace Hall is named for the wrestling arena at Lehigh, a venue named for Eugene Grace, a noted Lehigh baseball player and later president of Bethlehem Steel who had the facility built in 1939.
After a three-length career debut victory at Delaware Park last year Grace Hall took a very big step up to win the prestigious Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. She made it three for three back at Delaware Park in the Blue Hen Stakes and completed the season finishing a game second to My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs, the latter the undefeated Eclipse Award winner as champion 2-year-old filly.
She continues to be among the best of her generation with an impressive win in the Gulfstream Oaks (G2) and a third-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). After winning the Delaware Oaks (G2), Grace Hall finished a disappointing fifth in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. She bounced back powerfully, however, by drawing away to an easy win in the Indiana Oaks (G2) in October.