06/09/2015 3:56PM

Motion gets 2,000th North American win

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Graham Motion

Trainer Graham Motion sent out his 2,000th winner in North America on Tuesday, when Rachel Wall won the seventh race at Delaware Park.

Motion went out on his own as a trainer in 1993 with a small stable. He was helped out at the barn by his wife, Anita, and Adrian Rolls, who remains his assistant. From those humble beginnings, Motion steadily built his outfit, which today has approximately 100 employees and 140 horses. Motion has career purse earnings of more than $93 million.

“This is very gratifying, not only for me but for everyone who has been a part of this team,” Motion said. “We have some people who have been working with us from the start. I have been very lucky to have loyal longtime owners behind me, and I am blessed to have the support of my family. This milestone is a reflection of all of those people.”

Motion, 51, is based year-round at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. At different times of the year, he also stables at Keeneland and Saratoga and in Florida, California, and Delaware. Motion won his 1,000th race at Laurel Park in 2006.

Born in Cambridge, England, Motion came to the United States at age 16. He worked for Jonathan Sheppard from 1985-90, then went to France and worked briefly with Jonathan Pease. He returned to the U.S. in 1991 and worked for trainer Bernie Bond. When Bond retired in 1993, Motion took over his horses.

Last year was by far Motion’s best as a trainer. The stable earned more than $10.5 million in purses and won 145 races. Britain import Main Sequence, owned by the Flaxman Holdings Ltd. of the Niarchos family, was named champion turf horse and champion older male after going 4 for 4 for Motion. His wins all came in Grade 1 races – the United Nations at Monmouth Park, the Sword Dancer at Saratoga, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Motion won the 2011 Kentucky Derby and 2013 Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom, who earned $8.3 million in his 12-start career.

One of Motion’s earliest success stories was Better Talk Now, who raced from 2001-09. Better Talk Now earned $4.3 million while winning 14 of 51 starts. His victories included five Grade 1s: the Manhattan in 2007, the Man o’ War and United Nations in 2005, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Sword Dancer in 2004.

Motion won his first Grade 1 with Film Maker in the 2003 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.