10/16/2005 11:00PM

Fin can keep ball rolling for Motion


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Graham Motion might just be here for the weather. And why wouldn't he? With the exception of a drizzly opening day, the weather just doesn't get any better than it has been through the first half of the 17-day fall meet at Keeneland.

Of course, Motion has an even better reason for making the long trek from his home in northeastern Maryland: to run good horses in big-money races. As the meet reaches its midpoint Wednesday, the veteran trainer has won with 3 of 7 starters, including a victory last week with T. D. Vance in the Bryan Station Stakes.

Wednesday, Motion will try to enhance what already has been a solid meet when he sends out Fin, a British-bred filly, in the $56,000 allowance feature. Fin, with Gary Stevens to ride, is one of 10 fillies and mares entered in a 1 1/8-mile turf race that goes as the eighth of nine races.

Since being imported to the United States, is 2 for 3, having won back-to-back allowances at one of Motion's primary bases, Delaware Park, before finishing seventh, beaten just three lengths, in her most recent start. If she can revert to one of her better efforts, Fin looks like a legitimate contender in what shapes up as a well-balanced field.

Motion, 41, has lifelong connections to racing. His father, Michael, was a top bloodstock agent for Tattersalls in England, and his mother, Jo, worked in various racing capacities before moving to Virginia to open a tack shop. And his brother, Alexander, was the manager of Lazy Lane Farms for 10 years before joining their mother in the tack business.

Motion worked for Jonathan Sheppard, Jonathan Pease, and Bernie Bond before going out on his own in 1993. In fact, it was Pease who sent him Fin after the filly went 1 for 7 in France.

Motion hit a career high nearly a year ago when he sent out Better Talk Now to upset the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf. Using that race for momentum, the Motion stable is on pace to exceed its one-year record for earnings: the 2004 total was nearly $4.36 million, while the 2005 total through last weekend was already more than $4 million.

The Wednesday card is the only one this week at Keeneland lacking a stakes race. The remaining features this week are the Franklin County on Thursday, the Grade 3 Valley View on Friday, the Grade 2 Raven Run on Saturday, and the Dowager on Sunday.