03/15/2015 7:14PM

Van Dyke, Motion strike again in Santa Ana

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Benoit & Associates
Hoop of Colour, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, pays $26.80 for upsetting the Santa Ana.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Drayden Van Dyke has only ridden a handful of horses for trainer Graham Motion, but based on the way they have done the past eight days, this is a duet that won’t be breaking up any time soon.

 Van Dyke and Motion teamed to win the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile on Feb. 7 with Ring Weekend, and on Sunday at Santa Anita they scored a 12-1 upset with Hoop of Colour in the Grade 2, $201,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older female turf runners.

 Hoop of Colour ($26.80) wasn’t among the original nominees to the race, but she worked so well in company with Rusty Slipper and Lady of Gold – two other Motion runners – on March 8 that Motion decided to put her in too, his hand forced in part by the lack of an appropriate allowance race for her.

 Hoop of Colour had won a first-level allowance race here on Feb. 5 in her United States debut. Motion was desirous of running her in another allowance before moving on to stakes competition next month.

 “I was going to wait for the mile-and-a-quarter race next month,” Motion said, referring to the Grade 3, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 18.

 Instead, Hoop of Colour showed she’s ready for prime time. In the 1 1/8-mile Santa Ana, she stalked the moderate early pace set by Rusty Slipper, then had to get past Three Hearts, who also benefited by being close to a pace that hindered the late runners. After a six-furlong split in 1:13.73 that belonged to Rusty Slipper, Hoop of Colour completed 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:49.08.

 She beat Three Hearts by three-quarters of a length. Winning Rhythm was another length back in third. Testa Rossi was fourth and was followed, in order, by Rosalind, Diversy Harbor, Rusty Slipper, Queen of the Sand, and Lady of Gold.

Motion said Van Dyke, as he was in the Kilroe Mile, was “patient again, very sensible.”

Hoop of Colour, 4, raced four times in Britain before coming to the United States. Her training at Santa Anita is overseen by Motion’s local assistant, Alice Clapham.

 Motion watched the race from Florida, where on Monday he plans to work Eclipse Award winner Main Sequence before he departs on Tuesday for Dubai. Main Sequence, like Hoop of Colour, is owned by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings Ltd.