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LAUREL, MD – Isabelle Haskell de Tomaso’s homebred Irish Mias earned his first career win in style, scooting through an opening along the rail in mid-stretch and edging stablemate Torres Del Paine by a nose in Saturday’s $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Laurel Futurity at Laurel Park.
Irish Mias’ victory completed a juvenile stakes sweep for trainer Graham Motion, who saddled Sharing to a popular triumph in the Selima two races earlier. It was first win for Motion in both the Futurity and Selima, which saw their purses doubled for 2019.
“As long as I’ve been around here, it’s great to see them come back. I’ve always pointed for the races here,” Motion said. “It’s very gratifying. I’ve been running here 25 years now, so it’s fun to be running in these races.”
Irish Mias ($8) ran second in each of his two previous starts this summer at Saratoga, the first in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint taken off the turf July 24 and the most recent in a 6 1/2-furlong race scheduled for the main track Aug. 17. The Futurity was both his turf and two-turn debut.
“He’s always shown a lot of ability. Him and Sharing have been working together, so I thought a lot of him all along,” Motion said. “Everybody asks you at Saratoga, ‘Do you like your 2-year-olds?’ You don’t take your 2-year-olds to Saratoga if you don’t like them.”
Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.’s Torres Del Paine, third in the Rosie’s Stakes Aug. 31 at Colonial Downs, was eager up front and ran the opening 1/4-mile in 24.84 seconds before passed to his outside by 70/1 long shot Benny Havens, who ran the half in 50.17, while Irish Mias settled in fourth along the rail.
Jockey Manny Franco, who also rode Sharing to her dominating win, stayed on the inside path and had room to run once straightened for home, passing his stablemate inside the eighth pole. Irish Mias drifted out slightly once clear, as did Torres Del Paine, and both survived a claim of foul.
Torres Del Paine stayed up for second, 3/4 of a length ahead of Doc Boy, who edged 6/5 favorite Field Pass by a nose for fourth. The winning time was 1:44.03 over a firm Dahlia turf course.
“Honestly I kind of got talked out of running back on the grass with this horse at Saratoga because he ran so well on the dirt, which is a little confusing I think, because really I’ve always thought he was better on the synthetic,” Motion said. “I knew (Irish Mias) was going to be a little sharp, because that’s how he trains in the mornings. I just didn’t want them to get caught up together.”
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