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LAUREL, MD – Graham Motion couldn’t seem to lose Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park. Even when he saddled Alex Campbell, Jr.’s homebred He’s No Lemon to a second-place finish in the $150,000 Bald Eagle Derby presented by B&B Commercial Interiors, Motion still wound up with the race winner.
Despite finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind Jais’s Solitude in the 1 1/2-mile Bald Eagle, He’s No Lemon was placed first when stewards disqualified Jais’s Solitude from first to sixth for interfering with the longshot Zonda down the stretch.
It was Motion’s third stakes victory of the afternoon, following the Selima Stakes and the Laurel Futurity.
Ridden by Trevor McCarthy, He’s No Lemon, a 3-year-old gelding by Lemon Drop Kid, covered a firm course in 2:29.09. Another Mystery was placed second and Changi third.
Entering the Bald Eagle off a victory at Saratoga over 1 3/8 miles, He’s No Lemon was rated by McCarthy in eighth some 8 lengths off the pacesetter Zonda and jockey Victor Carrasco, who set fractions of :25.32, :50.48, 1:15.26, and 1:40.66. Entering the stretch, the Virginia Derby (G3) runner-up was driven to the lead under jockey Feargal Lynch, who won the inaugural running of the Bald Eagle with Channel Cat last year. But stewards found Lynch bothered Zonda, forcing Carrasco to check, and He’s No Lemon, who closed strongly down the middle of the course, was placed first.
He’s No Lemon has been no worse than third in each of his last six starts.
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