More from trainer Graham Motion in time for Royal Ascot. He talked jockeys, medication, training, opportunity as Animal Kingdom prepared to run in Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes. . .
Twelve days ago, Graham Motion sat on a small couch in an office in an old house in Fair Hill, Maryland and stopped talking. The question really wasn’t fair, but made the trainer get quiet. Real quiet. What would it mean to win at Royal Ascot with Animal Kingdom?
Turn off the phone. Call in sick. Lock the door. Whatever it takes, just get in front of your computer and/or television and watch Opening Day at Royal Ascot. Watch, bet, genuflect…the racing is superb, the pageantry sublime. This year, it’s even better from an American standpoint as Animal Kingdom lights up the first race. Here are the top 10 horses/stories to watch, at least from an America perch, Tuesday. In race order.
Not a particularly nice day at Laurel Park in mid-December, those are few and far between. The track was quite sloppy from a cold rain falling all morning. The crowd was sparse at best but that never stopped racing before. Jockeys dismounted in the paddock as not to get their boots dirty, but one was missing, apprentice jockey Trevor McCarthy.
Seven months have passed since reigning female sprint champion Groupie Doll made her last start, a narrow nose loss to Stay Thirsty in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, but her return to the races is not far away.
Dave Carroll pulls the phone away from his ear and yells down the hall. “Aisling, you know the bridle Mom got for Abstraction? What’s that called? How do you spell that…?”
“Alice . . . Alice Dubai . . . Alice UK . . . I’ve got a lot of Alices.” Actually, Graham Motion has just one Alice though she shows up multiple times in his iPhone contacts and seems to do the work of three people.
If you’re a clover plant in northeastern Maryland, be afraid. Be very afraid. Kentucky Derby winner Orb checked into the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center Sunday afternoon and, if Wednesday was any indication, he’s not in town for the views.
Palace Malice put it on everyone in the Belmont Stakes, proving that you never know what's going to happen when you saddle them up and send them over. Dogwood Stable's charge ran off and faded in the Kentucky Derby. Saturday, he listened, relaxed, rated and carried his speed 12 furlongs. On the jump side, Colonial Downs provided it usual thrills and longshot thrills.
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