12/16/2004 12:00AM

Motion bringing some turf heavies

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Arvada, here winning a division of the Glens Falls, comes out of a loss in the Long Island.

MIAMI - Trainer Graham Motion had modest expectations for his two long-distance grass specialists in this year's Breeders' Cup but came way with a win in the Turf with Better Talk Now and a second-place finish in the Filly and Mare Turf with Film Maker.

On Saturday, Motion brings three other of his long-distance grass specialists to Calder, where the prospects look bright for Dr. Brendler in the $200,000 and Humaita in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap. Motion will also start Colonial Bay in the McKnight.

The McKnight and La Prevoyante will both be decided at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. The Grade 2 races are two of four stakes on Saturday's Grand Slam II program, which also includes the $100,000 Fred Hooper Handicap, a Grade 3, and $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap.

The four stakes will comprise a pick four wager with a guaranteed pool of $250,000.

Both Dr. Brendler and Humaita are the starting highweights in their respective races. Dr. Brendler will carry 116 pounds in the McKnight, his third start following a 14-month layoff. A son of Distant View owned by his breeder, Francis O'Toole, Dr. Brendler finished second under allowance conditions at Keeneland and sixth in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap.

"He damaged a suspensory in the Sword Dancer the previous summer at Saratoga, which is why we gave him all the time off," said Motion. "I thought his first race back was super. Then he had everything going against him in the Red Smith. The fact he was highweight was ludicrous, the pace was slow, he had to break from the extreme outside, and horses coming off big races following long layoffs often have a tendency to bounce."

Motion said Dr. Brendler, who won the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes before his injury in 2003, has trained well since shipping to Palm Meadows earlier this month.

"He's doing well and had a nice work over the turf at Palm Meadows," said Motion. "I expect him to run an improved race Saturday."

The McKnight, like all four stakes on the Grand Slam II card, is wide open. The competition will include Dreadnaught and Certifiably, the first- and second-place finishers in the Red Smith; In Hand, who defeated Dr. Brendler by a neck at Keeneland; recent stakes winner Macaw; and the California invader Puppeteer, who finished fifth making his U.S. debut in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

Humaita will carry 119 pounds in the La Prevoyante. A German bred filly, she captured Keeneland's Dowager Stakes over the same 1 1/2-mile distance in her last start. She was beaten only two lengths when she was a tiring seventh in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational earlier this fall.

"She's just continued to improve throughout the summer and is just a very honest filly," said Motion. "The Dowager was a very good effort," he said, noting that the runner-up, Aud, came back to win her next start.

"My filly was unlucky getting stuck down on the rail in the Flower Bowl," Motion said, "but still got beat only two lengths. Unfortunately, this will be her last start. She'll be retired to stud next year."

Humaita's main competition in the La Prevoyante could come from Arvada, who will be seeking to rebound from a third-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Arvada had little excuse when she finished 2 3/4 lengths behind the highly regarded French invader Eleusis. Arvada had won a division of Saratoga's Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap in her previous start.

Literacy was no match for Humaita in the Dowager but did prove a half-length better than Arvada in her second-place Long Island finish.

Also among the top contenders entered for the La Prevoyante are Something Ventured, upset winner of the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap here two weeks earlier; Lenatareese, beaten a nose in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes in her last start; Grade 3 winners Derrianne and Savedbythelight; and Group 2 winner My Dear Lady.