Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference he is 90% sure Better Talk Now will start in Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course. The trainer held out a slight 10% chance that last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner could show up in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Race Course on the same day.
Motion said two reasons-- a significant amount of rainfall in Chicago or if anyone scratches out of the race-- are allowing him to keep the door to the Arlington Million ajar. "It doesn't cost us anything to enter (Arlington Million), so we're going to seriously consider that," the trainer said. "We're looking into flight arrangements, and I haven't heard back from the owners (Bushwood Racing Partners) if this is even feasible. We could get him on a flight Friday, but I don't know if we can hold it out to the last minute."
With 2004 champion turf male Kitten's Joy and Powerscourt pointing toward the Arlington Million the 10-furlong race is shaping up to be very competitive. "If everybody goes the way they say they are going, the Arlington race is going to be more competitive," Motion said. "I would imagine we would be favored in the Sword Dancer, which we would not be at Arlington. Having said that, the pace is very tempting in the Million. That was one of the reasons we were looking at it pretty hard."
Motion said getting Better Talk Now back to the Oct.29 Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park a fresh horse is the ruling factor in deciding between the Arlington Million and Sword Dancer. "We felt this (Sword Dancer) was going to be a lot less stressful on him running here at Saratoga than it would be shipping him to Arlington to run against stiffer competition."