Graham Motion brought a horse to Turfway Park nearly a year ago to see
whether he fit in the Kentucky Derby scheme. The answers he got were
affirmative, even in May, when Animal Kingdom used a victory in the
Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes as a springboard to become the latest Derby
Motion seems to have lesser ambitions this March with a colt named State
of Play, whose seventh-place finish in the Sam F. Davis Stakes four
weeks ago would hardly recommend him as a Derby prospect.
"We're just trying to get back on track with him," conceded Motion, who
this week sent State of Play with assistant Alice Clapham from Tampa to
run Saturday in the $75,0000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway
in northern Kentucky.
State of Play, with leading jockey Victor Lebron to ride, likely will be
favored to rebound in the Battaglia, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race that
serves as the local prep for the March 24 Spiral. Just five other
3-year-olds will oppose him, with the top challengers being Ill
Conceived, Mr. Prankster, and a maiden, Dynamical.