Hallway Hits His Stride in Mr. Sulu Stakes

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Hallway came from off the pace in Saturday’s $60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes for a one-length win, denying defending champion Desert Wheat (owned by Wachtel Stable, Brous Stable and J. D. Lee) a third straight win in Fair Grounds’ 1 1/16-mile race restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds.

 The winner gave two-time Eclipse Award winning conditioner Steve Asmussen a training triple and jockey Jamie Theriot the third of his four wins on the second race day of the 2010-2011 racing season.

“He ran just like I thought he would,” said Darren Fleming, the Fair Grounds-based assistant trainer for Asmussen. “I think it was probably in our favor that they took the race off the grass. He loves the mud and he loves Fair Grounds.”

Hallway, who defeated favored Desert Wheat by a nose in last year’s $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes when that stakes scheduled for the turf was run on the main track, paid $9.80, $6.20 and $3.40 and accomplished the distance over sloppy going in 1:46.89. He increased his career earnings to $397,857 with his seventh career victory in 35 lifetime starts.

“The race set up great for his running style,” said Theriot. “I didn’t have to go around anybody and I had a perfect trip.”

Sara Citron’s Chief Jay, who set the pace with early splits of 24.47 and 48.49, held the second spot at the wire, finishing a length to the good of Desert Wheat, who closed late but could not catch the top two.

Chief Jay returned $6 and $3.20 and Desert Wheat paid $2.40 in the show spot.

Racing resumes Saturday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.