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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Palm Beach Good Option for Cerro

Trainer Graham Motion

Cerro, who made an impressive dirt debut in a Gulfstream allowance last weekend, is expected to go back to the grass for his next start in the $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) instead of returning in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 23.

“He’s got a lot of turf pedigree. We already know he handles the grass and he handles dirt too. The Palm Beach might be a good option, rather than throw him into a race like the Fountain of Youth,” trainer Graham Motion said. “We feel like it’s a little bit early for that, for him.”

Should all go well in the Palm Beach, Motion said the Irish-bred Italian import could earn his way to the Derby in the $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park on March 23.

Motion prepped Animal Kingdom for his 2011 Kentucky Derby triumph with a Gulfstream grass race, in which he finished second, and the Spiral Stakes, which he won to earn his way into the Derby field. Last year, Motion saddled Went the Day Well for a fourth-place Kentucky Derby finish after breaking his maiden over Gulfstream’s main track and winning the Spiral by more than four lengths.

 

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