07/08/2013 2:40PM

Delaware Park: Motion has four in Christiana Stakes

Tom Keyser
Makayla’s Angel will be making her turf debut in the Christiana.

The numbers are certainly stacked in trainer Graham Motion’s favor in Wednesday’s $50,000 Christiana Stakes at Delaware Park. Motion has four of the 10 3-year-old fillies entered in the one-mile turf stakes, including last-out winners Makayla’s Angel and Joy. All will run as separate entrants.

Makayla’s Angel will be making her turf debut after winning back-to-back dirt routes in her first two appearances at Delaware. Motion is winning at a 25 percent clip at the meet, but his percentage the past five years soars to 38 percent (8 for 21) with last-out winners making their turf debut in a route. He also wins with a high percentage of the horses he runs for Makayla’s Angel’s owner Debbie Oxley (9 for 29, 31 percent).

Joy has already proven herself on turf, winning a first-level allowance at Pimlico in mid-May. But she has the disadvantage of having to break from post 10 and conceding weight to all but one opponent as the 122-pound co-highweight.

The other two fillies Motion is scheduled to saddle are Le Fascinator and Off My Cloud.

Le Fascinator is 2 for 7 on the grass, but is winless in her last four starts. Most recently, she finished fourth, beaten only three-quarters of a length, in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer going 1 1/16 miles over yielding ground at Penn National.

Over the past two seasons, Motion is 9 for 35 (26 percent) with turf horses returning in a non-graded stakes following a break of 31 to 60 days.

Off My Cloud was a nonthreatening sixth in her only start on turf in mid-April at Pimlico. Although Motion’s runners look like contenders, Petit Trianon and Hold Our Destiny will likely vie for favoritism.

Petit Trianon won her lone start on turf, beating out Le Fascinator and Hold Our Destiny in a three-horse photo for first at Pimlico. Two starts later, Hold Our Destiny returned to trounce first-level allowance runners at Delaware by 7 1/4 lengths.

Petit Trianon, from the high-percentage barn of Juan Vazquez, will be making her first start since her three-race winning streak ended when she finished far back in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.

The Christiana traces its roots back to Delaware Park’s inaugural season in 1937 and was run as a dirt sprint for 2-year-old fillies from its inception until 1971, then was not run again until 1992, when it became a turf route. It is no longer part of the regular stakes program, but is one of numerous overnight stakes sprinkled throughout the condition book.

michael More than 1 year ago
Hopefully it won't rain. Del Park takes races off the turf as soon as it gets cloudy.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
Really???? Hmmmm. I'm there most every day.