09/20/2017 12:10PM

Motion may try Ascend on dirt

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Graham Motion may give Grade 1 Manhattan winner Ascend a start on dirt in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Trainer Graham Motion is considering one of two races at Belmont Park for Grade 1 Manhattan winner Ascend.

Ascend could start in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch, a 1 1/2-mile turf race on Sept. 30, but he also is thinking of waiting a week and switching Ascend to dirt in the Grade 1, 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup.

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Ascend has made 14 of his 16 starts on turf, but did win a Gulfstream Park maiden race in February 2016 going seven furlongs over the main track. Motion regularly works Ascend over the dirt track at Fair Hill.

“He is Irish War Cry’s workmate,” Motion said.

Motion will start Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday.

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