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Grip Hands Breaks Maiden on Gulfstream Lawn

December 05, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

Grip Hands made child’s play of a maiden special weight field in his first time on the lawn on Saturday at Gulfstream. Trained by Graham Motion, our three-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway hadn’t quite shown us the same brilliance in his races that he had in his morning training, until the sixth race on Saturday’s opening day card.

After being bumped at the start, he was forced wide around the first turn, wide down the backside, and wide on the final turn, but then drew clear under confident handling by jockey Joe Rocco, Jr. to score by 2 ¾ lengths over second place finisher White Hill and 3 ¾ lengths in front of third place finisher Badleroibrown.

Says trainer Graham Motion, “Now that’s where he’s wanted to run all along isn’t it? He ran like the horse we all admire in the mornings. Grip Hands has been a patience tester that’s for sure, but this was a very nice performance. He galloped out quite nicely.”

Terry Finley said, “We’ve always thought this colt would perform well on the grass and after his last race at Churchill where he didn’t fire in the slop, Graham and I sat down and determined that now was the time to get this dude on the turf. He’s a big beautiful horse, and has a shot to have a productive 2012 on the turf. I know Barry (Irwin) touted his horse (Badleirobrown) pretty good in here, calling him “maybe the most talented horse ever owned by a partnership formed by Barry Irwin" and even saying Wayne Catalano deemed him better than Animal Kingdom last year.”

Look for Grip Hands to run back against winners in early 2012 at Gulfstream.