ELMONT, N. Y. --Trainer Graham Motion will saddle a pair of graded stakes winners as part of a seven-horse field of older fillies and mares in the G2, $250,000 New York Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on Belmont Park's inner turf on Saturday.
Among Motion's trainees is Alex G. Campbell, Jr.'s Mean Mary, who has started her 4-year-old campaign with consecutive graded stakes wins in front-running fashion.
The Kentucky homebred went gate-to-wire to win the 1 ½-mile G 3 La Prevoyante in January over the Gulfstream Park turf and followed with another winning effort on the course by leading a 12-horse field through every point of call in the 1 3/8-mile G3 Orchid on March 28, registering a personal-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure.
She has won her last three starts overall, ranging from 1 1/8 miles to a mile and a half.
"Her career took off in Florida," Motion said. "We thought from her first race that she was talented and it seems like she's gotten better and better. The first time I ran her in the longer stake, it was more because of the circumstances and lack of options. I just thought it was something she could handle, but clearly it was something she was looking to do."
A DAUGHTER of Scat Daddy, Mean Mary is 4-1-0 in six career starts, with her only off-the-board finish coming in her lone main track start when fifth on debut in September.
Once Motion moved her to grass, she has won four of her last five and finished as the runner-up in the other contest, a one-mile allowance at Aqueduct Racetrack, in November.
"She's a filly who had shown some ability in the morning and handled dirt well enough, but it's probably not a surprise that she improved on the grass."
Luis Saez, aboard for the last three wins, will have the return call from the outside post.
Her stablemate, Andrew Stone's Mrs. Sippy, will be making her first start since running ninth in the G1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November at Santa Anita.
After making her first nine starts in Europe, Mrs. Sippy arrived in the United States last summer, where she promptly won her first appearance for Motion by rallying from last-of-seven to win the 1 3/8-mile G2 Glens Falls by 1 ¾ lengths at Saratoga.
Just five weeks later, Motion ran her back in the G1 Flower Bowl at Belmont, where she ran second to Sistercharlie.
The Breeders' Cup marked her third start in just more than two months, and Motion gave her time off in the Sunshine State to start her 5-year-old year in 2020.
Mrs. Sippy has been training at Fair Hill with Mean Mary, breezing in company on Sunday in going six furlongs in 1:13.00 on the all-weather training track.
"They had their last work together last weekend and she's ready to go," Motion said. "She wintered down in Florida. We had a couple of minor setbacks. She irritated her eye once and missed a couple of works, so it's taken us a little bit longer but quite frankly, she didn't really miss any opportunities with the whole Covid-19 situation. The timing is pretty good."
Motion said the rest could be beneficial for later in the year as they attempt to keep the daughter of Blame firing for the biggest races towards the end of the campaign.
"We want to have her fresh for the fall. Last year, the Breeders' Cup came at the end of a long year," Motion said. "Hopefully, we'll have her fresher for the fall this time around."
Joel Rosario will have the call from post 6.