Motion Wins Stakes at Pimlico & Trainer Bonus
Although the Black-Eyed Susan is certainly the richest race on the day’s card, it was the Pimlico Special (G3) on May 18 that really got the crowd going, as Maryland-based Irish War Cry dominated the 1 and 3/16 mile race to win for owner/breeder Isabelle Haskell de Tomaso. The four-year-old Curlin colt, who finished second in the Belmont Stakes in 2017, is trained by H. Graham Motion out of the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton. Irish War Cry also won both the Holy Bull Stakes and Wood Memorial last year.
“The key was the distance today. With the 1 and 3/16 miles, he broke well, I let him run to the first turn, took a hold of him and he got under his feet beautifully,” said Irish War Cry’s jockey Jose Ortiz. “When I asked him by the three-eighths pole, he kept going and gave me everything he had.”
Motion and Ortiz teamed up again on Preakness Day to win the Stella Artois Gallorette (G3) with Ultra Brat. Bred in Kentucky by owner Alex G. Campbell, Jr., the five-year-old mare stayed close to pacesetter Stallion Heiress, but surged to the lead down the stretch. “She ran perfect. She broke great and we went to a good position,” Ortiz said. “She relaxed well, and that was the most important thing.”
Motion was a little worried about running on such soggy turf, but was pleased by the mare’s performance. “None of us really knew how she would handle it, but obviously she handled it well. Jose did a great job. I have so much confidence in him.”
Motion’s two stakes wins earned him 45 points in the Trainer Bonus standings to finish second behind Steve Asmussen. Motion took home a $25,000 bonus while Asmussen’s 82 points earned him a $50,000 bonus. Asmussen won the ClearSpan Chick Land, Maryland Sprint and James W. Murphy on Preakness Day, and the Skipat Stakes on Black-Eyed Susan Day. He also trained Tenfold, the third place finisher in the Preakness Stakes.
Also winning bonus money and hailing from Maryland were Mary Eppler (19 points, $10,000), James Lawrence (18 points, $7,500), Cal Lynch (16 points, $3,250) and Dale Capuano (16 points, $3,250).
Three-Way Tie for Trainer Titles
Trainers Kieron Magee, Jerry Robb and Mary Eppler tied for the Pimlico Titles during this year’s Preakness Meet. Based out of Pimlico, this was Magee’s third straight title at his home track. Eppler, who won her first training title in 2016, is also based out of Pimlico. This was her first Pimlico title. It was also the first Pimlico title for Robb.
Jockey Feargal Lynch entered the last day of racing at Pimlico with nine wins already in hand. A native of northern Ireland, this was his second career title since coming to Maryland in the spring of 2016 and his second straight Pimlico jockey title.