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
“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,”
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