Better Talk Now to Have Pacesetter in Man o'War

Better Talk Now to Have Pacesetter in Man o'War
Photo: Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
United Nations Handicap winner Better Talk Now will have a rabbit to help set the pace in Saturday's Man o'War.
Saint Liam will not be the only horse with a pacesetter on Saturday's big Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Preview card at Belmont Park. Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday he will run Shake the Bank as a pacesetter for last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now in the $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT).

Shake the Bank was used at a pacesetter in this year's United Nations Handicap (gr. IT), which Better Talk Now won.

"Shake the Bank will make the trip to ensure an honest pace, which is important to my horse," Motion said.

Motion said that Ramon Doninguez will be aboard Better Talk Now, while Tommy Turner will ride Shake the Bank, as he did in the United Nations.

"Tommy did a super job last time," Motion said. "We had an agenda we wanted to go with and Tommy performed it to perfection. That will be the plan this weekend. Whether he helps anybody else in the race really doesn't matter. I'm sure it will be the case, but it will ensure a legitimate pace and that's what Better Talk Now needs regardless of who else it helps."

Motion said he is just looking for a good effort to go on the Breeders' Cup Turf. "He doesn't have to win to go on to the Breders' Cup, without a doubt," he said. "We tried to stick with the same schedule. We got a little diverted last time with the ship to Arlington (for the grade I Arlington Million, in which Better Talk Now finished fourth), which we have no regrets about. I think he ran a big race, all things considered.

"No one was going to beat Powerscourt that day. I thought he was very impressive. We came within a head or neck of beating Kitten's Joy, and I think we took the worst of the trip having to come around the whole field. Now the extra distance will be a big help."

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