MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Dec. 26, 2009) – Edmund Gann’s 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt Motovato turned back to the seven furlongs distance for the first time since March on Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course and won the $100,000 Kenny Noe, Jr. Handicap (G3) by a quarter of a length over Dream Maestro. It was the first Graded stakes victory for Motovato, who has now won five of 13 career starts.

Ridden by jockey Elvis Trujillo for trainer Marty Wolfson, Motovato came from off the pace to run down Dream Maestro in the final strides and complete the distance in 1:24.44. Dream Maestro finished three lengths ahead of Prince Joshua in third place.

Motovato returned $8.00, $4.40 and $4.60 (prices OK); Dream Maestro paid $11.60 and $7.80; and Prince Joshua paid $4.00 to show.

Winning trainer’s quotes:

Marty Wolfson — “He didn’t break good again today, and with the trip he was getting down the backstretch, I thought he’d be lucky to hit the board, but he was just so much the best. He’s been training great. He should have won his last race (2nd in Spend a Buck Handicap on Oct. 17). He got in a lot of trouble that day. We’ll save You and I Forever (scratched from Kenny Noe, Jr.) for the Hal’s Hope next weekend (Sunday at Gulfstream Park). I passed with Jessica Is Back (scratched from Stage Door Betty), partly because of the post (11). We’ll just bring her up fresh to the Sunshine Millions (Distaff). I don’t have anything in particular picked out for Motovato.”

Winning jockey’s quotes:

Elvis Trujillo – “He broke a bit slow and that caused us to get tangled up leaving the gate, so I just let him sit back and waited until he was ready to run in the stretch. By the time we reached the quarter-pole, he was just begging me to let him go, but I didn’t have any room to get through. As soon as there was a little chance, I switched him to the outside and he took off from there.”

About Kenny Noe, Jr.:

The president and general manager of Race Course from 1979 to 1990, Kenny Noe, Jr. brought a lifetime of involvement in horse racing to his position and helped to bring about major changes to the racecourse. Among his many accomplishments here, Noe, Jr., along with various owners and breeders, created the Florida Stallion Stakes program in 1982 and the series now culminates on a great day of horse racing in the state, the Festival of the Sun.