09/12/2009 11:00PM

Presque Isle pace benefits Vacation

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Four-Footed Fotos
Vacation, shown winning at Arlington, will try to run down the speed in the stretch of the Presque Isle Mile.

Vacation comes into the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile Sunday night off a string of Grade 3 performances and looks to have the perfect running style in an expected full field with a good number of speed horses. Sixteen horses were entered but only 12 will be allowed to start.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Vacation won the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap at Arlington Park at a mile May 23. The 4-year-old son of Dynaformer then ran third in the Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine going 1 1/4 miles. In his most recent start, Vacation finished third in the Seagram Cup at Woodbine, a 1 1/16-mile race. All three of those races were on Polytrack.

McGaughey thinks the Presque Isle Mile will set up for Vacation's late charge.

"He is a miler-type horse," McGaughey said. "He doesn't have a great turn of foot, but with all of the speed in there, it should come back to him."

Vacation has not raced over Presque Isle's Tapeta surface, but has 2 wins and 4 thirds in 6 synthetic races.

McGaughey is a proponent of synthetic tracks.

"I wouldn't say it is for everywhere, but you don't miss any training when you are on it and you don't have to worry about the race coming off the turf," McGaughey said.

Vacation is at Saratoga and will ship in Saturday. John Velazquez will come in to ride.

Motovato hasn't raced since late June, which was not by design, according to trainer Marty Wolfson, but also isn't a concern.

"They scrapped most of the stakes at Calder and there just wasn't a spot to run him," Wolfson said from Presque Isle on Friday. "He runs good fresh and the Mile is the perfect distance for him."

Motovato, a 4-year-old Dynaformer colt, arrived at Presque Isle Thursday night. He has reeled off three impressive races at Calder. He won the Sumter on April 29 and then finished second in the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap. In his most recent start on June 27, Motovato was ridden out to win the Primal.

Motovato has earned Beyer Figures of 102 in his last two races. He is the only entrant in the field to have posted a triple-digit Beyer.

Motovato has made all 10 of his starts on dirt, but Wolfson is confident he will handle the surface switch.

"He is bred for turf but he is doing so well I didn't want to change too much," Wolfson said of why Motovato has raced only on dirt. "The synthetic is the closest thing to the turf, so we thought we would try it before trying the turf."