05/16/2012 12:57PM

Pimlico: Coup ranks highest of Motion's trio in Hilltop


Graham Motion has three of the 10 3-year-old fillies entered in the Friday finale at Pimlico, the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes, but the English-born trainer said he may wind up running just one of them. Coup, part of an Augustin Stable duo with Appealing Cat, definitely will start to the exclusion of her stablemate, said Motion, while the third filly, Proud Pearl, will start only in the unlikely event of the 1 1/16-mile turf race being transferred to the main track.

Coup, with John Velazquez to ride, wheels back from a winning effort in an off-the-turf maiden race at Gulfstream Park and figures as one of the favorites in a well-matched group. In her prior start, Coup was second in a Gulfstream grass race, and being by Empire Maker out of a New Zealand-bred mare, she has the pedigree to become an excellent turf runner.

Other contenders in the Hilltop include Theatricality, second last month in a Pimlico turf allowance; Ainsley, third in the Calder Oaks last out; and Anna Sophia, a Bill Mott shipper who was a good third in a Keeneland turf allowance last month.

Theatricality is owned by Skeedattle Associates, trained by Hamilton Smith, and will be ridden by Sheldon Russell, the same team that represented Maryland nearly two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby with 14th-place finisher Done Talking.

The Hilltop brings an end to the 13-race Friday card, with post time set for 6:20 p.m. Eastern.