Halissee makes race look easy at Belmont with Julie Krone aboard

ELMONT, N.Y. — ELMONT, N.Y. -- A top trainer, an outstanding rider, a 2-5 shot, only four challengers and a perfect trip -- every once in a while, this really is a pretty easy game.

Halissee, the overwhelming favorite in yesterday's Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park, jogged to a 2 1/2 -length victory for trainer Bill Mott, jockey Julie Krone and thousands of chalk players across the great state of New York.


Krone sent the gray son of Cozzene right to the front and got him to relax through comfortable early fractions. Halissee had a head in front of Logroller after a half-mile run in 48 1/5 seconds over the firm turf course and Krone had plenty of horse left.

"This horse is very calm and very confident," said Krone, who had just won her first stakes race since her historic victory aboard Colonial Affair in the Belmont Stakes. "He does whatever you want early. When the stretch comes, you throw the reins at him and chirp and he takes off. Mr. Nerud [owner John] told me that since I was on the outside I could dictate the pace. I just tried to make sure I had horse left when we turned for home."


Halissee showed only moderate ability last year as a 2-year-old and even struggled in his first two starts this year. But Mott obviously did something right. Halissee has now won four straight, including the Saranac Stakes.

"He's won his last four, so it's pretty hard to knock him," Mott said. "He has been very effective going a mile to a mile and a sixteenth. There'll be a day when we have to stretch him out, but I don't know if that will be his next start. We'll try to take advantage of the shorter races before we stretch him out. We'll try to do what he wants."

Mott, who is loaded with 3-year-old grass horses, also trains Jersey Derby winner Llandaff.

Halissee paid $2.60 and completed the mile and a sixteenth in 1:4045. Proud Shot finished second, a half-length in front of Logroller.

Mott said the August 5 Hall of Fames Stakes at Saratoga may be in his future plans with Halissee.