The tone of the 2018 Saratoga meet for trainer Graham Motion was set on the second day when Ultra Brat was beaten by a nose in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes.
It was the first of what has become seven second-place finishes from 25 starters through Thursday’s first race for Motion. He has yet to win a race.
“If you win the Diana, your meet’s made already,” Motion said. “We get beat a blip . . . We’ve had [seven] seconds. If a couple of those turned around we’d be having a perfectly decent meet. Yes, it’s frustrating, but you have to keep your head down and go about your business.”
After no runners on Friday, Motion gets back to business on Saturday with two runners, including Thewayiam in the Grade 2, $300,000 Lake Placid Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Saratoga.
There may be no more consistent runner in Motion’s barn than Thewayiam, who has three wins and three seconds – all in stakes – in six starts this year. She is coming off a 2 1/2-length loss to Athena in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on July 7.
Motion on Thursday morning said he was “delighted” with how Thewayiam ran in the Belmont Oaks.
“I don’t think any of us knew going into it how she was going to handle a mile and a quarter,” he said. “I had a suspicion that she would handle it. I think the mile and an eighth maybe suits her a little better.”
John Velazquez rides Thewayiam from the rail.
In Rushing Fall and Significant Form, trainer Chad Brown brings a strong 1-2-punch into the Lake Placid.
Rushing Fall won her first four starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year. She hasn’t run since May 4 when she was beaten a neck in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes ta Churchill Downs. She missed a scheduled start in the Lake George here on July 20 due to a temperature.
Rushing Fall is trying 1 1/8 miles for the first time, and off a 106-day layoff.
“I think she can get the mile and an eighth effectively,” Brown said. “I really do think that will be the limit for her.”
Significant Form will be cutting back to 1 1/8 miles after finishing fourth in the Belmont Oaks.
“I thought she’d get a mile and a quarter,” Brown said. “I was wrong.”
Daddy Is a Legend is coming off a two-length victory in the Grade 3 Lake George, a race in which she received a perfect trip under Manny Franco.
Completing the field are Capla Temptress, beaten 3 3/4 lengths in the Belmont Oaks; Go Noni Go, winner of the Bourbonette Oaks; and Andina Del Sur, winner of the Florida Oaks.
Thewayiam, by Thewayyouare
Last 3 Beyers: 92-90-88
◗ Rallied late along the inside to get second in the Belmont Oaks at a distance that was probably farther than her best.
◗ Won three stakes at Gulfstream at distances from 7 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.
Rushing Fall, by More Than Ready
Last 3 Beyers: 91-89-85
◗ Was game in defeat in the Edgewood Stakes when she had a prolonged stretch battle with Daddy Is a Legend only to get nailed on the wire by Toinette.
◗ Held her own with A Raving Beauty in five-furlong turf work in 1:00.93 on Aug. 10.
Significant Form, by Creative Cause
Last 3 Beyers: 91-92-91
◗ Came off the bench with a front-running victory in the Memories of Silver Stakes at Aqueduct, a running style she may employ on Saturday in a race lacking a confirmed pacesetter.
◗ Finished first in a maiden race over this course last summer only to be disqualified and placed seventh.
Daddy Is a Legend, by Scat Daddy
Last 3 Beyers: 95-91-90
◗ After a couple of difficult trips, she finally had a clear run and drew clear to a two-length score in Grade 3 Lake George here on opening day.
◗ Has put in two solid works over the Oklahoma turf course since.
◗ Only member of this field to have won at the Lake Placid distance of 1 1/8 miles.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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