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Motion has Smart Bid for Eddie Read

H. Graham Motion, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, will be at Del Mar on Saturday to saddle Smart Bid in the Grade I Eddie Read Stakes.


Smart Bid, a 5-year-old son of Smart Strike, arrived Wednesday night from the Midwest with a groom and assistant trainer in attendance and has been acclimating in one of the stalls in the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Mandella’s son Gary has been keeping an eye on Smart Strike for his friend Motion.


“Graham and I have known each other for a long time,” Gary Mandella said. A friendship that started when they were the East and West Coast trainers for one owner actually was strengthened, Mandella said, when they were subsequently both fired by that owner.


“Graham is a great trainer, and the Kentucky Derby win just reinforced it,” Mandella said.


Smart Bid was part of a Motion string stabled at Santa Anita in the winter of 2009-10 when the track there was synthetic, but has been based in the Midwest since early last year. The most recent of four wins in 16 career starts for Smart Bid came in a Grade II event at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans on March 26. Smart Bid has earnings of $748,278 for the owner Augustin Stable.


“The advantage he is going to have over the locally-based horses in the Read is that the (1 1/8-mile) distance might be a furlong too short for Acclamation and a furlong too long for Caracortado,” Mandella said. “This could be a chance to make him a Grade I winner without facing the tough grass horses back east right now.”

 

 

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