10/16/2014 4:24PM

Holiday Star completes three-win day for Napravnik, Motion

Coady Photography
Rosie Napravnik wins her third race of the card aboard Holiday Star in the Grade 3 Sycamore.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Graham Motion and Rosie Napravnik capped a big Thursday at Keeneland when Holiday Star wore down pacesetting Red Rifle to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Sycamore Stakes.

Motion and Napravnik both won two preceding races on a nine-race card, including one together. The Sycamore triumph came when Napravnik coaxed Holiday Star into a nice rhythm when stalking Red Rifle before finally edging past in the final 100 yards to prevail by a half-length.

“The pace was so slow,” said Napravnik. “We were really just loping. He ran an excellent race.”

Holiday Star, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred gelding by the late Harlan’s Holiday, returned $9.80 as third choice in a field of six older horses after finishing the 1 1/2-mile distance in 2:33.83 over soft turf. He is owned by his breeder, George Strawbridge Jr. of Augustin Stable.

Red Rifle, the 9-5 favorite, finished another half-length before Villandry, with Tricky Hat another 4 3/4 lengths back. Unitarian, the 2-1 second choice making his first start in nearly six months, was never a threat when finishing fifth.

Holiday Star now has won 4 of 13 career starts, with the Sycamore being his first stakes win after nose defeats in his two prior races, both ungraded stakes.

“This horse deserved to win, so I was thrilled to see him do it,” said Motion, who was on hand from his Maryland base. “It was a nice day to visit.”

The $2 exacta (3-4) paid $27.80, the $1 trifecta (3-4-5) returned $69.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (3-4-5-2) was worth $15.18.

Motion’s prior Thursday winners came with Rapscallion ($7.20), ridden by Napravnik, and Quadrivium ($35.40), ridden by John Velazquez. Napravnik’s other winner came for her husband, owner-trainer Joe Sharp, on Gallant Eagle ($4.80).

Attendance on a misty, chilly afternoon was 8,529.