by Karen Johnson
Better Talk Now, a multiple grade I winner, has recovered from a puncture wound he suffered in July and August and is back in serious training at his Fair Hill, Md., home base, trainer Graham Motion said Sept. 12.
Better Talk Now worked five furlongs Sept. 8 in 1:02.60, the ninth-quickest move from 20 at the distance, over the Tapeta surface at Fair Hill Training Center. Motion said the 8-year-old’s next work would come the weekend of Sept. 15.
Motion is preparing the gelding to run in the Sept. 30 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. From there, Motion will point Better Talk Now to the $3-million John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
In 2004, Better Talk Now, a son of Talkin Man, won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Lone Star Park.
Owned by Bushwood Stables, Better Talk Now was entered to run in the Aug. 11 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga but was scratched the day before the race. During the July 7 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT), in which he finished third at Monmouth Park, Better Talk Now struck his left front ankle with a hind hoof.
Motion said the gelding typically hits himself and therefore wears front bandages. The ankle cut was treated but flared up again and became infected just before the Sword Dancer.
As part of his treatment, Better Talk Now underwent therapy in what Motion called “an equine spa” in Saratoga and was treated with antibiotics. He was hand-walked for two weeks before resuming light training.
“He stood in cold salt water at 33 degrees for three or four days,” Motion said. “That sped up the healing process. He’s prone on very firm turf to hitting himself in front. This time, he ran through the protection of the front bandages.”
Motion said he didn’t believe the lost training time would prove detrimental to Better Talk Now’s fall campaign. “He keeps himself pretty fit,” he said.
Last year, Motion used the Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine as Better Talk Now’s prep for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. He won the Sky Classic and was second in the Breeders’ Cup.
This year from three starts, the gelding’s sole win came in the June 9 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.