Lucky Chappy will seek his first U.S. victory in Saturday’s $150,000
Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 1 3/8-mile turf stakes will
be his 10th start since being imported from Italy, where he won twice
from three starts.
The 4-year-old son of High Chaparral has been stakes placed in six
of those starts for trainer Graham Motion, who saddled him for
second-place finishes the El Camino Real Derby (G3) and the Virginia
Derby (G2) last year.
“I don’t know that I can say he’s been unlucky. He’s just a
hard-knocking horse who’s always right there,” Motion said. “He just
hasn’t been lucky enough to win one.”
In his most recent start, Lucky Chappy closed from 13th to finish third
in the Hollywood Derby (G1), 1 ½ lengths behind victorious Unbridled
Command, who came back to finish third in last Saturday’s Gulfstream
Park Turf Handicap (G1).
“I thought he ran really well. The winner came back to finish third
to Animal Kingdom and Point of Entry,” Motion said. “This horse needs
distance, like the mile-and-a-quarter of the Hollywood Derby. The
mile-and-three-eighths distance of this race I think is really going to
Motion entered Game Fair and Angegreen for Saturday’s $100,000 The
Very One, confident that the 1 3/8 miles of the turf stakes for fillies
and mares will suit them well.
“Both of these fillies are in there because they’re craving the distance,” Motion said.
Game Fair will seek her third straight victory, coming off a
Gulfstream allowance victory at 1 7/16 miles on Dec. 26 and a Kentucky
Downs allowance triumph at 1 5/16 miles.
“Game Fair has finally come to herself. I always thought she was a
good filly, and she’s finally come to herself when I’ve gotten the
chance to run her further,” Motion said. “And I hope that’s the key with
Angegreen, who was winless in three starts last year after winning
three of five starts in Italy, will make her 4-year-old debut in the The
“My thought is that she is just desperate to run further. For a
3-year-old, it’s very hard to find races going long,” said Motion,
noting that French jockey Antoine Hamelin will ride the daughter of
Motion and Team Valor International nominated Cerro for the Fountain
of Youth. The Irish-bred colt won a 1 1/8-mile allowance at Gulfstream
by 2 ½ lengths on Jan. 26, after which Motion had indicated that the
$150,000 Palm Beach (G3) over the Gulfstream turf course on March 3
would be targeted for his next race.
“We’ll be weighing our options. Most likely we’ll be going to the
Palm Beach, but we’ll take a look at the Fountain of Youth as well.”
Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom has pleased his trainer with how he came
out of the Kitten's Joy Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and is on course
for a start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (March 30), in which he
will run on a synthetic surface. Animal Kingdom prepped for his 2011
Kentucky Derby victory on synthetic tracks at Turfway, where he won the
Spiral Stakes (G3), and Keeneland, where he worked.
“He certainly seemed to handle it really well at Turfway when he won
on it,” Motion said. “He worked unbelievable on it at Keeneland when he
worked on synthetic for the Derby. He had one of the fastest works I’ve