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Lucky Chappy Seeks First U.S. Win at GP

Trainer Graham Motion

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 help him.”

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.”

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 Very One.

“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 Ekraar Saturday.

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.” Motion said.

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 ever had.

 

 

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