09/22/2005 11:00PM

Motion sees hidden turf potential


Returning to the main track after two unsuccessful experiments on turf, Summer Rainbow scored a two-length victory in a high-priced optional claimer at Delaware Park last Sunday.

Given that Summer Rainbow is now 6 for 15 on dirt - including a 4-for-5 record on Delaware's main track - and 0 for 2 on turf, it seems obvious where she will next race.

Trainer H. Graham Motion, however, plans to avoid the logical path. Motion said he feels Summer Rainbow hasn't yet proven she can't handle turf, and is strongly considering bringing her back for the Quill, a $55,000 overnight stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Delaware's turf course Oct. 17.

"I would consider running her either way, turf or dirt, because she is so versatile," Motion said. "I really don't think this filly minds what she runs on. Either way, the Quill would be the ideal spot for her."

Motion said Summer Rainbow's performance in the restricted De La Rose at Saratoga last month, in which she finished fourth, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths in a field of 10, may have been better than it appears on paper.

"Actually, her race on the grass at Saratoga was a really good effort," Motion said. "She just kind of had a troubled trip."

In her other try on grass, Summer Rainbow set the pace under pressure in the 1 1/8-mile Goldfinich at Monmouth Park before fading to seventh in the final furlong.

"She always seems to try hard," Motion said. "She's as tough as nails. I cannot train her on the racetrack, because she is so tough to train. We just gallop her every day back in the fields at Fair Hill.

"Occasionally, we take her up to the track to breeze," he said. "She is just a real tough filly, but you don't mind having to do special things when they run like that all the time."

Sweet Science to get vacation

Sweet Science, one of the better older female turf runners in Motion's barn, will be given an extended break in order to be fresh for this winter's meeting at Gulfstream Park.

Motion said he decided to give Sweet Science time off after she finished fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the George Rosenberger Memorial at Delaware on Sept. 10.

"The turf was very firm and it was hard to make up ground that day, and I think that just compromised her chances," Motion said. "We are going to give her a little break and point her for some stakes at Gulfstream this winter."

Previously, Sweet Science had run second in the $300,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup in July. Overall, she has won 3 of 9 starts and $173,182.

Allen reaches 1,500 wins

Laurel Park-based trainer A. Ferris Allen III won his 1,500th race on Sept. 14, when Citiparrot ($6.80) proved best in a conditioned claiming race at Delaware Park.

Allen, 54, has been a fixture in the top 10 of the Pimlico and Laurel Park standings since 1995 and led all trainers in wins on the Maryland circuit in 1999 with 86.

Allen's first victory came with Exclusive Reef at Charles Town in 1974, but he is best known as the trainer of Miracle Wood, who was fifth in the 1986 Preakness. The leading trainer at Colonial Downs six times, Allen has 75 victories this year, including 33 at the major Maryland tracks.

Allen began the long road toward the 2,000-win plateau by saddling two more winners at Delaware: Fast Runaway last Sunday and Busy Prospect on Monday.