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Motion Says Howe Great Maturing

Howe Great with Jockey Edgar Prado winning the Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach, Florida. 01-21-2012

With a trio of stakes victories, Howe Great already has turned his first hat trick, but trainer H. Graham Motion is hopeful the 3-year-old Team Valor colt will light the lamp for his first Grade 1 in tomorrow’s Jamaica Handicap.

The 1 1/8-mile turf race will be Howe Great’s second Grade 1 appearance; in the spring, he finished fifth behind Jamaica favorite Dullahan in the Blue Grass over the synthetic surface at Keeneland. That left him with insufficient earnings to make the Kentucky Derby, and he has raced exclusively on turf since, compiling a 1-2-1 record in four starts, including a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last time out.

In that race, Howe Great was three-quarters of a length behind the front-running My Best Brother, who was unpressured throughout the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

“No one went with the winner,” said Motion. “I thought our horse ran a great race.”

The trainer added that Howe Great – who is named after hockey great Gordie Howe –
is coming into the Jamaica as well as or better than any of his races.

“He’s maturing, and he has been training very well for the Jamaica,” said Motion of Howe Great, who is 5-3-1 from 10 career starts. “He’s really a lovely colt, you can do anything with him, and he has been so consistent. I think he’s a Grade 1-calibre horse and I hope he gets a chance to prove it.”



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