LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 16) There was a party Saturday night at Darby Dan Farm, but it didn’t include replays of Time and Motion’s exciting victory in that afternoon’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1).
“Everybody was watching the Ohio State football game; they were over the race,” trainer James Toner said Sunday morning after he gave Time and Motion the once-over. “I saw it once and that was live.”
What he saw was Time and Motion eventually get past Hawksmoor (IRE) in deep stretch and hold off Harmonize by a head.
“I was worried about that,” Toner said of Time and Motion hooking Hawksmoor at midstretch but not going by. “You’ve got to give that European filly a lot of credit. She made all the running and was still there. (Hawksmoor) showed a lot of heart. When my filly felt Harmonize to her outside that gave her the surge she needed.”
Time and Motion is scheduled to return to Toner’s home base at Belmont Park on Monday.
“We will take a look at everything,” Toner said. “We will get her back to New York and give her a few days and talk to (owner) John (Phillips) and see what he wants to do. There is no decision yet.”
Options include the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 5, the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25 or calling it a year with five wins in six starts. Time and Motion could start a 4-year-old campaign here in April, possibly in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1).
“I like to start here in the spring,” Toner said. “The reason I took her to Gulfstream Park this winter was to break her maiden and then be able to map out her campaign.”
“It was a huge effort,” Rodolphe Brissett, assistant to trainer Bill Mott, said about the late-running performance by Larkin Armstrong’s Harmonize, who was coming off a win in the Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1). “We were expecting that. The filly changed a lot over the summer. She had won a Grade 1, so there was less pressure to face those two (Time and Motion and Catch a Glimpse). They had beat us the whole spring. We went to California to stay away from them, and it worked out pretty good. It was time to face them again. We were pretty confident. It was just a tough beat.”
A year ago, Harmonize won Keeneland’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) from off the pace. After racing near the back of the pack in the QE II, she nearly caught Time and Motion.
“That’s the way she wants to run now, and it’s actually not a bad thing,” Brissett said. “That means next year we can look at mile and a quarter, mile and three-eighths. That opened a lot of options for us.”
Harmonize’s next start is to be determined, Brissett said, but the Mrs. Revere at Churchill, the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar on Dec. 4 or waiting until 2017 are under consideration.
Lael Stables’ Hawksmoor was scheduled to leave Keeneland on Tuesday to return to Europe, but that trip might not be set in stone with a Breeders’ Cup appearance possible.
“All plans are up in the air,” said Miguel Clement, assistant to trainer Hugo Palmer.
Hawksmoor, ridden by Corey Lanerie, kept the pressure on favored Catch a Glimpse and roared past her in the upper stretch.
“In Europe, she has had the lead at times and been forwardly placed,” Clement said. “She has a high cruising speed and we thought we would put that to tactical use. She put away Catch a Glimpse a long way from home and that made her vulnerable late but she ran a winning race.”
Stuart Janney III’s On Leave, who was fourth, was grazing contently outside her Keeneland barn on Sunday morning with Reeve McGaughey, assistant to his father, Shug, holding her lead shank.
“She will van back to Belmont Park tonight and stay there until shipping to Florida,” he said. “Same plan as last year where she will get a little vacation over the winter.”
Last year the daughter of War Front made two starts before earning her first career victory in her 3-year-old debut. She added three consecutive victories, including the Sands Point (G2), before her streak ended in the Queen Elizabeth.
After spending the early part of her Florida vacation at Niall Brennan’s training facility in Ocala, she will rejoin McGaughey’s division at Payson Park Training Center.
Catch a Glimpse faded to seventh, a result that was confusing to David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse.
“It was a bit of a head-scratcher,” Carroll said. “Not so much that she lost, but how she lost. She had no fight and that’s not her.”
Carroll said Catch a Glimpse would remain at Keeneland for at least the next few days.
“She’s cooled out fine yesterday and is good this morning and ate up all her feed,” Carroll said. “We ran a horse in the last race yesterday and when we came back, she was bucking and playing.”
The two California invaders for the QE II, Mokat and Stays in Vegas, came out of the race well and are scheduled to ship back to Santa Anita on Tuesday. The fillies finished fifth and sixth, respectively.