12/13/2007 12:00AM

Motion shippers look live in Ladies

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Ladies Handicap is the oldest stakes in the country run exclusively for fillies and mares, but it is a race that has certainly lost its standing. A Grade 1 as recently as 1989, the Ladies plummeted to a listed stakes in 2005 and last year did not have enough entries to be carded.

Saturday at Aqueduct, the $75,000 Ladies will be run for the 136th time with a seven-horse field that doesn't necessarily get the blood pumping.

Trainer Graham Motion ships up two fillies from his base at Fair Hill, Md., including Cryptoquip, the only graded stakes winner in this field. Motion also will start Bondage, whose five wins are the most of anyone in the field.

Cryptoquip, an Ohio-bred daughter of Cryptoclearance, is a three-time stakes winner who won the Grade 3 Arlington Park Breeders' Cup Oaks in 2006. Two starts back, she won the Ohio Distaff at Beulah Park by 7 1/2 lengths. In her last start, however, Cryptoquip finished ninth in the Maple Leaf Stakes run at 1 1/4 miles - the same distance as the Ladies - over Woodbine's Polytrack.

"We don't know if it was the Polytrack, distance, or competition that caused her not to run well," Motion said. "This is an opportunity to find out where we stand."

In winning the Ohio Distaff, Motion said, Cryptoquip "beat a filly that beat her the time before. If she runs back to that race," Cryptoquip would be tough.

Bondage has 2 wins from her last 3 starts, but comes from well off the pace. Motion believes Bondage will relish the distance, and she is reunited with Ramon Dominguez, who has won on her twice.

"The mile and a quarter should help her, and Ramon knows her very well, which makes it more enticing to come up there," Motion said.

In 2001, owner Ned Evans and trainer Mark Hennig teamed up to win the Ladies with Summer Colony. Saturday they team up with Tap Gold, who as a daughter of Pleasant Tap looks well-bred for the 1 1/4 miles. Tap Gold, second in two stakes in New Jersey, is the 116-pound highweight.

Wow Me Free finished fourth in the Maple Leaf and ran fifth, beaten 5 3/4 lengths by Octave, in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Wow Me Free, who makes her first start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, should find this field a bit easier.

Trainer Tom Bush believes E Z Bella, who has never won on dirt, is "dying" to run 1 1/4 miles. Borrowing Base and Inda complete the field.