Daring Dancer: Poetry in Graham Motion
SARATOGA SPRINGS, July 23, 2014—Have to give a lot of credit to trainer Graham Motion and jockey Alan Garcia for turning around the fortunes of Daring Dancer in today’s Grade 2 Lake George.
Motion, winning the Grade 2 for 3-year-old fillies going a mile and a sixteenth on turf for the third time, didn’t let her completely flat performance downstate deter him from making another run in the Diana, but she rebounded in a manner that underscored her first two grass victories in which showed lots of promise.
With Garcia sitting ice cold saving ground throughout behind a moderate pace, he cut the corner beautifully with the filly, tipped her outside gradually, got her in high gear approaching the sixteenth pole and relentlessly bore down to catch A Little Bit Sassy, who had better position throughout and got the jump on the winner.
With Garcia switching to his left hand for the final hundred yards, the filly surged to win by a head, a surprising margin since no one was sure who even won the race until the judges posted it on the result board in a bang-bang photo finish.
“I honestly think it was the soft ground [when she finished fifth in the Wonder Again last time out],” said Motion post-race. “She was a different horse today. From the beginning she was right in the bridle. Alan gave her a beautiful ride.”
“Somebody had to win and I’m glad I won that race,” Garcia said. “I was looking for a hole but I decided to move outside. She [won] it spectacularly.”
That she did.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, July 19, 2014—It is not so much that I’m conflicted as much as I’m a little distracted.
Here I am, with a front row seat to the best thoroughbred meet on the planet, and I’ve got harness horses on the brain, actually one juvenile trotter in particular.
Charles ‘Chip’ Foster lives in the condo next door, approximately 12 feet from my door.
About two months ago as I was preparing to leave for some big race on Long Island, Foster told me he had a nice trotting prospect who was a lot more advanced than others if his ilk at the harness track a quarter mile down the road from both of us.
I told Chip that once I get back from Long Island, I’ll come over to the qualifiers on Friday mornings and check him out. From that first Friday, I have yet to see him get beat.
On the Friday after the Belmont, Royal Deceptor
, by RC Royalty from the Malabar Man mare, Art of Deception, took his qualifier under wraps in 2:06. The time wasn’t fast but his professionalism and his manners were.
The following week, the $11,000 Morrisville yearling purchase gave a virtual repeat performance, going a little faster, 2:05 3/5, before just ambling back to the barn like some old gelding that had just finished jogging.
Finally, with debut rapidly approaching, it was time to get a little more serious and the colt obliged, showing a speed dimension for the first time, taking the lead with a quarter-move and kept right on going like some energizer bunny of a trotting horse.