09/14/2005 11:00PM

Motion has two big threats


A pair of sharp Saratoga shippers who began their racing careers in England give trainer H. Graham Motion a potent one-two punch for Saturday's $100,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.

Funfair, 2 for 2 since arriving in the United States, and Battle Chant, whose Beyer Speed Figures have steadily risen in three North American races, are formidable threats in the Schapiro, which will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

"I may end up running both of them," Motion said. "It all depends on the weather and the condition of the turf course."

Funfair, a 6-year-old, comes off a win over a yielding course in a restricted stakes. His 104 Beyer is by far the best last-race number in the Schapiro field.

Battle Chant, 5, has improved his Beyers from an 83 in May to a 99 last time out in a near-miss against high-priced optional claimers. Last year, he was good enough to finish second in a Group 3 stakes, earning a Timeform rating roughly equivalent to a 102 Beyer.

The Laurel-based Mr O'Brien returns to race in Maryland for the first time since finishing last of five in last year's off-the-turf Schapiro at Pimlico. This season, he has yet to display the same form that earned him a berth in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile, finishing third and second at short odds in two stakes at Delaware.

Trainer Robin Graham said Mr O'Brien had an excuse last time out on Sept. 3.

"He lost two shoes, one off his front and one off the rear, but he came back fine," Graham said. "He still loves to race and train."

Tam's Terms, winless in four start this season, also comes back to his home base, where he is 1 for 1 on the grass course.

Delaware: Zito maiden formidable

It may seem strange to favor a maiden facing winners in a stakes, but based on Beyers and his trainer's reputation for stretching out sprinters, Superfly sure looks like a lock in the $55,000 Whirling Ash at Delaware Park.

Although 0 for 2 in his brief career for trainer Nick Zito, Superfly comes out of an extremely fast maiden race at Saratoga in which Discreet Cat was awarded a 106 Beyer. Superfly, beaten 3 1/2 lengths as the 2-1 favorite, got a 97.

That number is 23 points higher than any other 2-year-old in the one-mile Whirling Ash has ever run.

Zito does some of his best work getting sprinters to go long. And as a son of Fusaichi Pegasus, Superfly should be capable of going a mile.

Kid Lemonade and Dixiewink, an uncoupled entry for trainer Tim Ritchey, have the advantage of already having won a two-turn race over Delaware's main track. Jeremy Rose is listed as the rider for both horses.

Kid Lemonade, a $225,000 purchase at a Fasig-Tipton sale in February, is 2 for 2 at a mile, winning his maiden easily and coming back two weeks later to get up by a head in an allowance.

Dixiewink was able to win his maiden despite acting fractious at the gate in his first route attempt a week ago. His sire, Dixie Union, was a solid performer at 2, winning the Norfolk, the Best Pal, and the Hollywood Juvenile Championship.