Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, WinStar Farm, and Robert and Kathleen Verratti’s Independence Hall, a son of leading Third-Crop Sire Constitution, proved uncatchable in the $200,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on Oct. 30, winning the 1 1/8-mile test by a romping 7 ¼ lengths.
Ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Michael McCarthy, Independence Hall was hustled to the early lead and set all the pace. Following a half-mile in :48.38 and three-quarters in 1:12.45, Code of Honor moved to challenge Independence Hall, but at the quarter pole, Independence Hall shrugged off the challenge and drew clear impressively to win as he pleased, defeating Code of Honor who finished second and King Fury checked in a distant third. Independence Hall stopped the clock in 1:50.30 over a track labeled sloppy (sealed).
“I didn’t see much speed, so (I wanted to) dictate the pace and go wire to wire,” said winning rider Javier Castellano. “The more you ask him, the more he gives you. He’s a really nice horse.”
A 4-year-old colt, Independence Hall was bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, and he is produced from the multiple stakes-producing Cape Town mare Kalahari Cat. With the victory, the $100,000 acquisition at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale increased his career earnings to $874,000 and his record now stands at 13-5-2-2.
Independence Hall was a dominating 12 ¼-length winner of the 2019 Nashua Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct at two, setting a new stakes record of 1:34.66. He was the fastest 2-year-old of the season, earning a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the race. He was an impressive four-length winner of the Jerome Stakes in his first start at three, and in addition to his stakes wins, he finished third behind Knicks Go and Jesus’ Team in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) in January, earning a career-best 104 Beyer.