Graham Motion Barn Goes Two-For-Two in Weekend Stakes

August 21, 2022

DEL MAR, Calif.— This is not the first time trainer Graham Motion has shipped horses to Del Mar. This isn’t even the first time he’s won two stakes at the same meet, or the first time he’s won the Del Mar Oaks. Generally, Motion waits until the fall meet to strike at Del Mar, like he did in 2016 when he won the G1 Matriarch with Miss Temple City, the G2 Seabiscuit with Ring Weekend and the G3 Jimmy Durante with Journey Home.

He sent out two horses this weekend and they promptly won both of their races: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Sister Otoole in the $100,000 CTT & TOC on Friday and Gainesway Stable’s Spendarella in the G1 Del Mar Oaks on Saturday.

Motion didn’t make the trip out west, so it was up to his assistant, Alice Clapham to make sure everything went to plan. Judging by the results, it was mission accomplished.

“It’s been a very worthwhile trip,” Clapham said Sunday morning. “Very worthwhile.”

Clapham says Spendarella came out of her race in good shape. The 3-year-old daughter of Karakontie wowed the crowd of 13,182 when she displayed a tremendous turn of foot and left the full field of talented fillies in her wake.

“She’s always had it in her,” Clapham says, “but to power through that and leave them all, that was incredible.”

As to what may be next for Spendarella.

“I’m sure Graham will talk to Gainesway but I would think most likely the QE II at Keeneland because that’s the last 3-year-old straight.”

Clapham says the decision to bring Sister Otoole out west with Spendarella was a combination of factors.

“You always look at the stakes book to see what else there is around,” Clapham said, “and it just worked out perfectly that the race (the CTT & TOC) fitted for her and the timing for her.”

Unlike her stablemate, Sister Otoole hasn’t done a lot of traveling.

“We normally keep her closer to home,” Clapham says. “She ran at Belmont and Delaware and the turf at both was really soft. She ran well but she just doesn’t really like it. So the option to come out here and you can share the pallet with the two horses, it makes the expenses for the owners so much better. It just helps everybody.”

Not to mention the “Ship & Win” enticement offered by Del Mar.

Spendarella and Sister Otoole will ship out Tuesday and head back to Motion’s base at Fair Hill in Maryland.

The runner-up in the Oaks, Bellabel, also came out the race in good order. Trainer Phil D’Amato was proud of her effort.

“She ran her race,” D’Amato says. “That other filly is an exceptional filly and hats off to Graham Motion and the owners. We’re very proud of our filly and hopefully it’s something to build off of.”

D’Amato says they have yet to decide where Bellabel will run next.

“We’ll just come up with a game plan here in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “She ran back-to-back good races, tough races, and we’re excited about her going forward.”

DMTC Press Release

Photo: Spendarella with Tyler Gaffalione aboard captures the G1 Del Mar Oaks (Benoit Photo)

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