Independence Hall with Javier Castellano up wins the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 30, 2021. Keeneland/Coady Photography.

Independence Hall Dominates Fayette Stakes

Edited Press Release

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, WinStar Farm and Robert and Kathleen Verratti’s Independence Hall shrugged off the challenge of Code of Honor for an emphatic 7¼-length score in the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (G2), the featured event on closing day of the 17-day Keeneland Fall Meet on Oct. 30.

With Javier Castellano in the irons, Independence Hall was hustled to the early lead and moved clear to a comfortable one-length margin in the first quarter-mile clocking of :24.24. Following a half mile in :48.38 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.45, Code of Honor and jockey Tyler Gaffalione began to move alongside Independence Hall. At the quarter pole, Independence Hall shook clear from the challenge to an impressive win. 

“Everything changed today from the way I handicapped the race (before Sleepy Eyes Todd was scratched). I didn’t see too much speed in the race,” Castellano said. “I made the adjustment myself (thinking) if you can put him in a good position, a forward position, he can carry himself all the way around the track. I think the key today was breaking good out of the gate.

“I had to encourage him a little bit (nearing the wire), but the more you ask him, the more he gives you.

Independence Hall, a 4-year-old colt by Constitution, covered 1 1/8 miles over the track labeled sloppy in 1:50.30. He is trained by Michael McCarthy.

“He’s a really nice horse,” Castellano added. “The slop helped a lot, too; he loved it, he splashed along and he carried himself. I’m very grateful, very thankful to be here and to be on him. I really appreciate the opportunity.”

Three-year-old King Fury, the 9-5 favorite, finished third.

Independence Hall returned $9, $4.40 and $3.20. Code of Honor paid $3.80 and $2.60 to place, while King Fury returned $2.60.

Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Independence Hall is out of the Cape Town mare Kalahari Cat. The $100,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale earned $120,000 for his victory in the Fayette Stakes to boost his career earnings to $874,000. His record improved to 13-5-2-2.