02/21/2008 12:00AM

Motion doubles his efforts


Graham Motion shipped a favorite to Turfway Park for a stakes last weekend, to no avail, but the English-born trainer will try again Saturday when he sends in two major contenders from the Fair Hill Training Center for the $50,000 Valdale Stakes.

Lovers Spat and One Man to Beat, both coming off sharp recent races at Laurel Park, are the Motion representatives among a full field of 3-year-old fillies entered in the one-mile Valdale.

Motion has his primary winter base in south Florida but also has a large string in training over the Tapeta surface at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md., from where he shipped Jade's Revenge last week for the Dust Commander Stakes. Jade's Revenge made a sustained midrace move before finishing fourth as the 8-5 favorite.

One week later, Motion obviously will be looking for more favorable results when Lovers Spat, with John McKee to ride, and One Man to Beat, Rodney Prescott up, break alongside each other from posts 6 and 7, respectively, in the Valdale. In all, 13 fillies were entered, although only as many as 12 can start.

Lovers Spat, owned by Brereton C. Jones, has won 4 of 6 career starts, although all of them came on dirt surfaces and none earned a Beyer Speed Figure higher than a 55. Nonetheless, the homebred Lovers Spat has trained regularly over a synthetic surface, and her rate of success speaks for itself.

One Man to Beat, owned by the High Five Racing Stable, exits back-to-back runner-up finishes over "off" tracks at Laurel and has a pair of 69 Beyers to her credit. She also has been training forwardly at Fair Hill and posted a bullet drill two workouts ago over the Tapeta.

Along with the Motion horses, Valentine Fever is a major contender, especially if the Lloyd Madison Farms homebred can stretch out successfully. Valentine Fever captured the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy at Turfway by eight lengths on Jan. 10, earning a 74 Beyer. Tommy Pompell retains the mount.

Fringe contenders include Northern Chorus and Check My Daddy, allowance winners last time out.

The Valdale, the 11th of 12 races, highlights a program that starts at the usual 1:10 p.m. Eastern. The race dates to 1978 and was won last year by Our Dancing Babe, ridden by Alonso Quinonez.