News & Barn notes

Trainer Motion Has Two for Saturday’s Red Bank Stakes

May 26, 2017


   Trainer H. Graham Motion will ship in two challengers, Can’thelpbelieving and Irish Strait, both with wins over the Monmouth Park turf course, to take on 11 others, including three MTOs going a mile in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Stakes.             Can’thelpbelieving is making his second start off an 8-month layoff. His first start this season came in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard, where he finished 11th.             “He has been doing well,” said Motion. “We were disappointed in the way he ran last time out. He didn’t seem like he was able to settle. He has been training good coming into the race. I think a mile might be a little short for him, but they should be going quick upfront so he will probably sit off the pace.”             In his final start of 2016, the 6-year-old gelding by Duke of Marmalade out of the Soviet Star mare Embark captured the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth in late-running fashion. His only other start over the Monmouth grass came in last year’s Grade 1 United Nations Stakes where he finished fifth behind multiple graded stakes winning World Approval.             Can’thelpbelieving hasn’t worked since his return to the races in 2017. His last work came on April 29, where he went six furlongs over the Fair Hill training track in 1:13 2/5.             Motion’s other entrant in the Red Bank is Irish Strait, who enters off a fourth place finish in the Henry Clark Stakes at Laurel Park over a yielding turf course on April 22. He’s also the older brother of fellow New Jersey bred and winner of multiple graded stakes winner, Irish War Cry.             “He has really improved this year,” said Motion. “Although he hasn’t won this year, he’s run well in each of his races this year. I think he will be very competitive in this spot.”             The 5-year-old gelding by English Channel out of the Polish Numbers mare Irish Sovereign made his only start in graded stakes company in his first race of 2017. He finished third by a length in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes on Feb. 11             Irish Strait has gotten to the winner’s circle twice in six career starts over the Monmouth turf. His latest win over the course came on Sept. 11 where he took an allowance optional claiming event by 2 ¾ lengths.             Irish Strait has worked twice since his run at Laurel. The latest came on May 22 where the gelding went five furlongs in 1:02 2/5.              For either entry to grab the Red Bank Title, they would have to defeat graded stakes winner All Included, trained by Todd Pletcher who took the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park last time out.             Antonio Gallardo will get the call aboard Can’thelpbelieving, while Orlando Bocachica will ride Irish Strait.

          The Red Bank is scheduled for race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race card. Gates will open early Saturday at 11 a.m. for day 1 of the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival. First post is set for 12:50 p.m.