06/26/2009 11:00PM

Motovato pulls clear in Primal


MIAMI - Motovato continued his climb to the top of the local handicap division with a popular 5 3/4-length victory over 17-1 longshot Pechito in Saturday's $55,000 Primal Stakes at Calder.

Motovato added the Primal to his victory in the Sumter Stakes earlier in the session. He sandwiched those victories around a troubled second-place finish behind Finallymadeit in the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap.

Motovato, with jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan aboard, stalked the early pace of Pechito, who cut out modest fractions in the 1 1/8-mile Primal. Motovato engaged the leader leaving the backstretch, gradually forged clear in early stretch, and then steadily increased his advantage while being geared down at the end. Pechito turned in his best effort since shipping to the United States earlier this winter, outlasting Colonial Causeway by two lengths to finish second.

Dream Maestro, who figured to give Motovato his stiffest challenge in the Primal, was scratched earlier in the day.

Motovato, a 4-year-old son of Proud Citizen, is trained by Marty Wolfson for the partnership of Edmund Gann and Michael Jean Zerolo. He covered the distance in 1:52.30 over a good track and paid $2.80.

Lulu's Ransom: Many Kisses prevails

Trainer David Fawkes is so hot right now, even a bad trip can't stop the roll he's been on with his top 3-year-olds. Fawkes, whose Big Drama and Duke of Mischief traveled out of town to win stakes races this past week, stayed home Saturday with Many Kisses, who overcame terrible racing luck to capture the $55,000 Lulu's Ransom Stakes under jockey Jeffrey Sanchez.

The Lulu's Ransom was originally scheduled to be run at 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf but was decided at a mile over a good main track due to overnight rain.

Many Kisses, who won on both turf and dirt in her two previous starts, was shuffled to the rear of the field after being pinched along the rail entering the first turn. The daughter of Unbridled's Image was then fanned extremely wide turning for home but was still good enough to run down pacesetter C Karma to win by a length.

C Karma withstood a bid from Tailbytherail through midstretch but was unable to contain the winner's final surge. Renda, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth.

Many Kisses covered the distance in 1:41.22 and paid $6.60.