Motion Sends Out Duo in Lake Placid at Saratoga


Graham Motion sends out a pair of runners in Sunday’s $150,000 Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga. (© Cheryl Quigley |

Trainer Graham Motion sends out two contenders in Sunday’s $150,000 Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga, a 1 1/8-mile test on the inner turf.

Motion will saddle the 5-2 morning line favorite Cat’s Pajamas, who makes her stakes debut. The daughter of Street Sense beat first level allowance company on the turf at Belmont Park in her last outing.

“I think being able to stretch her out as a 3-year-old and getting her on the grass has helped her,” Motion said. “She’s been impressive in the mornings since we had her. The time off has helped her, too. I think she can handle the mile-and-an-eighth. It’s always encouraging when they can come back and duplicate their performances against winners.”

Motion’s other runner is an interesting longshot. Blame Debbie is 8-1 on the morning line and was beaten just a neck in a third-place finish against allowance foes in her last start.

“I thought her last race was very impressive against older fillies,” Motion said. “The key with her can be the distance. She likes to go longer, and I think she’s at her best on the grass.”

Motion has won the Lake Placid twice, last year with Varenka and in 2009 with Shared Account.

Christophe Clement sends out Speaktomeofsummer (5-1), who is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Wonder Again (G3) in her last start which was off the bench. She won the Chelsey Flower last November at Aqueduct at a mile.

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The Mike Maker trained Stunning Sky (3-1) figures to take some betting action. The filly was sixth in the Regret (G3) at Churchill Downs in her last start. She rallied for third in the Honey Ryder two back at Gulfstream Park.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.

Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga free picks

Saratoga Race 9 The Lake Placid G2 (5:46 ET)

2 Blame Debbie   8-1

1 Speaktomeofsummer   5-1

8 Cat’s Pajamas   5-2

6 Stunning Sky   3-1

Blame Debbie

This filly is the higher price of the two in here sent out by the Motion barn. The filly showed some ability last year with a third in the Demoiselle (G2) on the main track at the Big A going nine furlongs in her first trip against winners. She then was not a threat in the Suncoast on dirt and the Florida Oaks (G3) on turf. She woke up last out off a three-month break against older Alw-1 foes on turf going 1 1/4 miles. She [prompted the early pace, took over the lead and battled on gamely in a third-place finish.  beaten a neck and a head for the top spot. The winner Civil Union came back to win the River Memories on July 12. She is back with straight three-year-olds here and should be forwardly placed in a race void of much early pace. She is bred to handle 1 1/4 miles. By Blame out of an Invasor mare. Motion won this race last year with Varenka.


The Clement trainee makes her second start off the bench here for the Clement barn. Last out she tracked the early pace and came up short in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the Wonder Again (G3). Last November she won the Chelsey Flower at Aqueduct going a mile in her first trip against winners. The blinkers come off here. She is out of the turf stakes winner Silver Reunion ($254,403) who has dropped four other turf winners including turf stakes winner Proud Reunion ($177,880). She should be fitter second off the bench.

Cat’s Pajamas

The morning line favorite makes her stakes debut here off a sharp win versus Alw-1 company last out at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles on turf in her first start against winners. She graduated two back at Churchill Downs off an eight-month layoff. The Motion trainee should be able to handle the extra ground here. She is by Street Sense out of a Tale of the Cat mare that has dropped five other winners including a couple of turf winners including turf stakes winner Candy Kitten ($228,927). She looks as if she still has plenty of upside, but her price may end up on the light side here.


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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