Nagirroc after his G3 Futurity triumph Oct. 9 at Aqueduct (Joe Labozzetta)
Keeneland Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky.— No trainer has won the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) in consecutive years, but on Friday Graham Motion has a big chance to change that statistic when he sends out Nagirroc in the 35th running of the 1 1/16-mile grass test.
Owned by the partnership of Madaket Stable, Little Red Feather Racing and William Strauss, Nagirroc finished third here last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) for the best finish by any U.S.-based runner in the race.
“He is doing really good, and I am pleased with him,” Motion said of Nagirroc, who arrived here Wednesday from his winter quarters at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida.
Nagirroc had one more start to close his 2022 campaign, finishing third in the Eddie Logan (L) at Santa Anita on Dec. 30.
“I felt he was doing well, and it was a long break until the spring,” Motion said of the trip to Santa Anita. “After that, we gave him all of January off and pointed to this race.”
Nagirroc drew post position nine in a field of 12 and will be ridden by Flavien Prat in his 2023 debut.
“I always worry if I have done enough (returning from a layoff), and I think I have,” Motion said. “I felt this way last year with (2022 winner) Sy Dog, but this year’s field is much deeper.”