07/27/2010 12:41PM

Turf Melody back on grass in Quick Call

Dustin Orona Photography
Turf Melody's last win came in the Springboard at Remington Park in December 2009.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Turf Melody made little noise in his first and only start on the grass last fall at Keeneland, but trainer Graham Motion is confident that the 3-year-old will live up to his name when returning to the turf for Thursday’s $70,000 Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga.

The Quick Call is carded for 3-year-olds at a mile over the inner turf and shares top billing on the 10-race program with the $70,000 Lucy Scribner overnight stakes for older fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track. The first jump race of the meeting, the $70,000 Jonathon Kiser Novice, will open the card.

Turf Melody made his one and only start on grass over a yielding course in the Grade 3 Bourbon, finishing an even seventh behind Interactif. He bounced back from that effort to close out his juvenile campaign with a pair of victories on dirt. All four of his starts as a 3-year-old have come against graded stakes company, the last of which was the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont on May 8.

“I’m not sure how legit his first turf start was and I have a hard time believing he won’t handle the grass,” Motion said of Turf Melody, a son of Maria’s Mon and half-brother of the Grade 2 grass winner Stanley Park. “I freshened him up after the Dwyer, and he’s been working in company with Icabod Crane getting ready for his return.”

Icabod Crane came off a similar layoff to drop a heartbreaking decision here Monday in the Evan Shipman Stakes.

“This is a nice, conservative spot to bring him back, try him on grass again and find out where we’re at,” Motion said. “And obviously if the race were to come off the turf, it would really be to our advantage.”

If the Quick Call goes as scheduled on the grass, the field is a formidable one and includes the graded stakes placed pair of Lethal Combination and Psychic Income, turf stakes winner Beau Choix, and top contenders Our Douglas, Alfarabi, Lighthouse Sound, and Lonesome Street.

The Lucy Scribner is written for fillies and mares who have not won a graded stakes this year. The race drew a pair of graded stakes winners, Worstcasescenario and Decelerator, the only 3-year-olds in the lineup.

Four-time stakes winner Lady Alexnader may be the one to beat coming off a fourth-place finish behind Rightly So and Qualia in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap at Belmont.