07/25/2011 4:47PM

Saratoga: Slop helps Icabad Crane reverse form in Evan Shipman

Barbara D. Livingston
Icabad Crane (left) comes from far back to run down Stormy's Majesty by a nose in the Evan Shipman.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-   Icabad Crane rallied from last to wear down pacesetting Stormy’s Majesty in the final stride and register a game nose decision in Monday’s $75,000 Evan Shipman Stakes at Saratoga.

The 1 1/8-mile  Evan Shipman, which is restricted to New York- breds, lost much of its luster when the odds-on morning-line favorite Friend or Foe was scratched after the racetrack was downgraded from fast to sloppy early in the day.    

Icabad Crane’s narrow victory helped erase the memory of his heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Giant Moon in the 2010 Evan Shipman and was his second win in five starts this season. Icabad Crane settled at the back of the five-horse field for the opening half-mile, commenced his rally entering the stretch, and  then continued resolutely to wear down the tiring leader at the wire. Dubai’s Majesty was easily second best, finishing 4 3/4 lengths in front of Mine Over Matter. Saginaw and Spa City Fever completed the order of finish.

Icabad Crane, a 5-year-old son of Jump Start, is owned by Earle Mack and trained by Graham Motion. Regular rider Rajiv Maragh was aboard. He completed the distance in 1:51.42 and paid $6.30.

“Obviously the sloppy track helped,” Motion said by phone from Maryland. “It was a combination of the wet track making the favorite scratch and I guess moving our horse up too.

“His last race was too bad to be true. It was really a head scratcher,” said Motion, referring to Icabad Crane's sixth-place finish, beaten more than 16 lengths, in the Grade 1 Suburban. “It was really the first bad race he’s run. And this makes up for last year when he suffered a tough beat in this same race. He’s so consistent and such a lovely horse to be around. He’s one of my favorites.”

Motion said he could wheel Icabad Crane back on the turf in the West Point on Aug. 18.

“It would be his third race in succession but we’ve been fairly easy on him this year. He ran well in the West Point last summer. He was beaten just two lengths without the best of trips. And if it ever came off the grass it would be a really good spot.”       











DEL MAR, Calif. -- There will be a carryover of $239,490 into the pick six on Wednesday at Del Mar, the result of no one hitting the bet on Sunday, when the pool was seeded with $50,000 from the track itself.


The $50,000 seed money remains in the pool and is incorporated into the carryover figure.


Del Mar is dark on Monday and Tuesday.