Updated on 09/18/2011 1:39AM

Ballast's victory caps Grand Slam I


MIAMI - Trainer H. Graham Motion won't arrive in south Florida until after Christmas. But the English-born horseman received an early present when Ballast rallied to a 1 1/4-length victory over the 19-1 Bob's Proud Moment in Saturday's $100,000 at Calder.

The Grade 3 Tropical Turf headlined Saturday's Grand Slam I card at Calder, which included three other $100,000 stakes. The main event also capped a special pick-four wager, which paid $2,498.80 for a $1 ticket to those who correctly selected the winners of the four stakes: Amorama in the My Charmer Handicap, Meditations in the Three Ring Stakes, Drums of Thunder in the What a Pleasure, and Ballast.

Ballast, an Irish-bred son of Desert Prince, is owned by Richard C. Thompson, who turned the horse over to his old school chum, Motion, following the conclusion of the 2005 campaign.

"The first thing I did was geld this horse because he was so difficult to be around," Motion said by phone from Middleburg, Va. "Since he's been gelded he's the kindest horse in the barn in the morning but not the easiest horse to ride in the afternoon. But Rafael [Bejarano] really seems to have his number, and he rode him very well today."

Bejarano put Ballast just behind the pacesetting Siphon City shortly after the start of the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Turf. They stalked the leader to the final turn at which point Ballast gradually took control and began to edge clear. Drum Major, the 2-1 favorite, rallied belatedly along the inside to be third.

Ballast covered the distance over a firm course in 1:47.54 and returned $9.40 as the third choice in a field of nine older horses. Gun Salute, the 120-pound highweight who has not started since February, was scratched earlier in the day. Trainer Bill Mott said he will wait until Gulfstream Park before returning the Grade 1-winning Gun Salute to action.

Meanwhile, Motion said he would start looking at the Gulfstream stakes schedule for Ballast's next assignment.

"He's relatively fresh and that course should suit his style well, so we'll probably pick out one of the early races over there for his next start," Motion said.