Phillips Racing Partnership's homebred Time and Motion made her move at the opportune time as she came from off the pace and powered through the lane to capture the $200,000 Wonder Again for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Sunday. Her effort gave trainer James Toner a thrilling victory in the race named for his former dual Grade 1 stakes winner.
“It's especially gratifying,” he said. “I was just looking at the pictures of Wonder Again in the office this morning and thinking about it. My thought was, if it was pouring rain, it'll be a typical Wonder Again day. Fortunately, the rain held off but she used to love the rain and soft ground. It's exciting to win a race named for a horse you've had.”
In a gutsy performance, Time and Motion, who was sent off as the 3-1 third choice in the field of 10 and carried co-high weight of 121 pounds, covered the 1 1/8 miles over the firm inner turf course in 1:47.48 under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. While racing six-wide in the lane, she prevailed over 5-2 favorite Harmonize, who was also closing late, by one-half length after dueling with that rival in deep stretch. Last Waltz, one of four fillies trained by Chad Brown, was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third.
“She can run all day. You wish every horse you ride can be like her,” said Velazquez of Time And Motion. “I didn't want to be too far back with her and she broke really nice. Once my horse switched lanes, she responded right away. By the eighth pole, I started getting the momentum going and she got her stride together. She gives you a little confidence because you can put her wherever you want.”
Time and Motion has now won two consecutive stakes after taking the Memories of Silver Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack in her last start April 24. Multiple Grade 1 winner Memories of Silver was also a Toner trainee for the Phillips family.
Time and Motion, who ended her juvenile season with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf behind eventual Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse, is now 3-1-1 in six starts and improved her bankroll to $184,910.
“[It was] a little hairy around the turn there, but Johnny said he was just waiting to ask,” said Toner. “Once she got clear, I could see she was kicking. It was close but she was making a run at it. We'll point to the Belmont Oaks [Grade 1, $1 million, July 9], that'll be the next target. We've been very fortunate. She's been exciting to be around. It's a long way to go, but she's working her way there.”
Grey Stark, Taralena – who set the pace until the top of the stretch – Elysea's World, Gioai Stella, Mo d'Amour, Verbouwen, and Enjoy Yourself completed the order of finish.
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