07/17/2002 11:00PM

Motion filly top pick in $150k race

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STANTON, Del. - Graham Motion runs a stable in perpetual motion, no pun intended. He has 30 horses at Delaware Park, 15 at Fair Hill, and a handful soon headed to Saratoga.

Early Thursday morning, amid the deafening quiet of the Delaware backstretch, the English-born Motion was waiting for a van to take one of his horses to a veterinary clinic in Virginia, but a major logjam on Interstate 95 on the northeast side of Baltimore had him reconsidering that plan.

"I wonder if I should even bother," he said.

Ah, the incessant quandaries that face the modern-day horse trainer. Motion also has some concern about how New Economy, one of his Fair Hill contingent, will perform Saturday as the likely favorite in the $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Stakes on the Delaware Oaks undercard. New Economy, a 4-year-old Red Ransom filly owned by Robert S. Evans, recently returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to win a Delaware allowance race with style.

"It seems that so often when they run that well off a layoff, they tend not to go back to that race," Motion said.

Yet in virtually the same breath, Motion says that New Economy has flourished since he moved her to the quiet environs of Fair Hill, the tranquil training facility located some 30 minutes from Delaware in northeast Maryland.

"She's a really nice filly," he said.

Indeed, with three wins and three seconds from eight career starts, New Economy brings solid credentials into the Dick Memorial, a 1 3/8-mile turf race that drew a field of 10 older fillies and mares. She will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez, the runaway leader atop the jockey standings at the 2002 Delaware meet.

"We've had this race in mind for quite a while," said Motion. "She should really like the distance."

Probably, the top rival for New Economy is Caique, who also is based in northeast Maryland at trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm. Caique, owned by prominent Kentucky owner-breeder Dr. John Chandler, also comes off a sharp allowance prep following a layoff, winning a Colonial Downs allowance on July 4.

The purse for the Dick Memorial (race six), named for the late former chairman of the Delaware Racing Commission, includes $50,000 in Breeders' Cup bonuses.

* Dominguez also has Bowman's Band, the horse to beat in Saturday's other six-figure supporting feature, the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial Stakes.

Bowman's Band's five races this year have resulted in just one win, but also runner-up finishes in three races, including the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap and Grade 3 Schaefer Handicap.

"I was looking for a little easier spot than some of the races we've had him in," trainer Michael Matz said. "I guess I could find some excuses for some of his races, but actually, I'm just looking forward to this race Saturday."

Bowman's Band is one of 10 entered in the Carpenter Memorial (race four), a 1 1/16-mile race that also drew Grundlefoot, an earner of over $500,000.