10/24/2001 11:00PM

Motion takes conservative route


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The two horses surrounding him in a crowded photo in the Meadowlands Cup have been deemed good enough to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic. But for Broken Vow, trying the world's best handicap horses Saturday at Belmont just didn't present the right set of circumstances.

Instead, trainer Graham Motion settled on Saturday's $150,000 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland for Broken Vow, the Pin Oak Stable homebred who ran second by a head in the Meadowlands Cup. Gander, the winner, and Include, the narrowly beaten third-place finisher, are part of the Classic field Saturday.

The difference in company obviously could make for a better result for Broken Vow, who in April demonstrated a fondness for Keeneland when he easily won the Ben Ali Stakes. Although his eight challengers in the Fayette are by no means pushovers, they certainly cannot claim the stature of Aptitude, Galileo, and the other Classic favorites.

Motion had hoped that Broken Vow would earn his way into the Classic, but the defeat at the Meadowlands, coupled with the fact that Belmont is not as conducive to Broken Vow's near-the-pace running style, led him back to Keeneland. "He likes to hear his feet rattle on a track like Keeneland or Gulfstream," said Motion.

A victory by Broken Vow, a 4-year-old Unbridled colt, would make him just the second horse to win the Ben Ali and Fayette in the same year. Homebuilder (1988) is the only horse to have swept those races.

Clearly the most serious foe for Broken Vow is Outofthebox, the Steve Flint-trained 3-year-old who won the Grade 1 Super Derby in his latest start. "You wouldn't have thought this race would come up so tough, but it has," said Richard Klein, whose family owns Outofthebox, a Montbrook colt who has earned over $700,000 this year.

Other notables in the 1 1/8-mile Fayette are Chicago Six, a four-time stakes winner this year; Concerned Minister, the beaten favorite in the recent Maryland Million Classic; Connected, an impressive winner of the Warfield here two weeks ago; and Jadada, who won the 2000 Fayette for trainer Mitch Shirota.

The rest of the field is First Lieutenant, Just Ruler, and Maysville Slew.

The Fayette is the fourth and final race of a Saturday program that includes the simulcasts of the Breeders' Cup races. First post is 11:15 p.m., with the Fayette set for 12:45. The first Breeders' Cup race, the Distaff, goes at 1:20. Gates open at 9 a.m.

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