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Motorious Punches Breeders’ Cup Ticket in Green Flash

Motorious  returned from a break in style as he rallied near the center of the course to win the $150,000 Green Flash Handicap (G3T) Sept. 2 at Del Mar.

The effort marked the first start for the 5-year-old Muhaarar  gelding since he finished a close second in the Turf Sprint Stakes (G2T) May 6 at Churchill Downs. Earlier this year Motorious registered the first graded stakes win of his career in the San Simeon Stakes (G3T) on the downhill course at Santa Anita Park.

With Saturday’s win, Motorious punched his ticket for a return to the Santa Anita turf as the Green Flash is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita. (The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint is scheduled for five furlongs as opposed to 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill.)

In the Green Flash, Anthony Fanticola’s Motorious rated in seventh early as Helladic  blazed a quarter mile in :21.74 before Fast Buck  took over through a half-mile in :44.70. Those two would fade as Motorious rallied six wide under Geovanni Franco, powered past three rivals in the stretch, and drew off to a 1 3/4-length win. Franco picked up the mount for the injured Umberto Rispoli.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Motorious completed the five furlongs in :56.07 on firm turf.The 5-2 favorite was followed home by runner-up Cherubic Factor  and third-place Beer Can Man , a two-time grade 3 winner. Motorious paid $7.20, $4.80, and $3.20 across the board. 

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Longshot Cherubic Factor, campaigned by Exline-Border Racing, Richard Hausman, William Dan Hudock, and Susanna Wilson, earned a placing in his stakes debut. He paid $17.20 and $9.40 to place and show. Beer Can Man returned $4.60 to show.

Bred in England by Kirtlington Stud and Mary Taylor, Motorious is out of the group 3-placed Pastoral Pursuits mare Squash. Motorious is a half brother to stakes-placed Matters Most.

Video: Green Flash H. (G3T)

In the preceding race, morning-line favorite Faiza  was scratched from the Torrey Pines (G3), with trainer Bob Baffert displeased with her initial draw in post 9.

But a wide post proved to be no obstacle for Ceiling Crusher , who under a hustling ride from Edwin Maldonado, took the lead into the first turn and turned back all challengers in the two-turn, one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. The frontrunning California-bred daughter of Mr. Big   won the $150,000 race by six lengths, timed covering the distance in 1:37.41 following fractions of :22.14, :46.29, and 1:11.78

Ceiling Crusher and jockey Edwin Maldonado win the Grade II $150,000 Torrey Pines Stakes Saturday, September 2, 2023 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA.<br>
Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo

Ceiling Crusher wins the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar

Flying Connection  finished second and late-running Justique  was third.

Trainer Doug O’Neill trains the Harris Farms-bred Ceiling Crusher ($6.80) for owners Wonderland Racing Stables, Todd Cady, Tim Kasparoff, Tim and Ty Leatherman. The filly, out of the Indian Charlie  mare Palisadesprincess , notched her first graded stakes victory and improved her record to 5-for-6.

Video: Torrey Pines S. (G3)

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