Southwest S.

( 8f ,)

GREAT NOTION (B h, 112 lb) $45,000
Elusive Quality —Evening Primrose , by Dayjur
B—Jayeff B Stables, KY.; O—Silverton Hill LLC; T—Darrin Miller

Alke (DK B/ h, 114 lb) $15,000
Grand Slam —Pasampsi , by Crow (FR)
B—White Fox Farm, KY.; O—English, Kenneth D. and Braun, Alan; T—Robert E. Holthus

Comic Truth (CH h, 119 lb) $7,500
Proudest Romeo —Comic Wish , by Lyphard's Ridge
B—Dr. V. Devi Jayaraman, FL.; O—Jayaraman, Dr. K. K. and Jayaraman, Dr. Vilasini D.; T—Cole Norman

Margins: 9, 1¼, ¾. Others: Sir Cherokee 115($4,500) , Premier Rocket 118($3,000) , Mav Cat 113 , Lost Her At Dawn 115 . Winning Jockey, Terry J. Thompson.

Owners Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton don’t give their horses any names. “We wait until they do something that might have a bearing on what we name them,” Bonnie Hamilton said.

Great Notion, the couple’s 3-year-old colt who won the March 1 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, is named after a multiple champion field trail bird dog. “We knew he was special while at our farm,” Hamilton said. “Tom Biederman knew he was special, too.”

Biederman, a Lexington bloodstock agent, auctioneer, and real estate broker, picked out Great Notion at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of Dromoland Farm, agent, and signed the ticket for $82,000. “He loved that horse,” Hamilton said. “He kept hauling my husband back to see him at the sale.”

Great Notion, a son of Elusive Quality, didn’t seem like a picture-perfect horse to Bonnie Hamilton. “He was bandaged up because of a fence accident,” she said.

The Hamiltons named Great Notion about a month before the colt first started, last November at Churchill Downs. They had put plenty of thought into naming him.

“Because we felt he was the real deal, we didn’t feel we should give him just any old name,” Bonnie Hamilton said. “Great Notion was the Secretariat of bird dogs, and we figured we’d take a chance on him.”

Great Notion, who has won three of four races, also has proved special to trainer Darrin Miller. He is the conditioner’s first stakes winner. Miller, a former Florida-based pinhooker and Quarter Horse rider, started in training in 1995. He has trained for the Hamiltons for a couple of years.

Residents of Springfield, Ky., the Hamiltons campaigned earlier stakes winner Neon Shadow, who is in training with Carl Bowman. They race in the name of Silverton Hill and own Silverton Hill Farms. Tommy Hamilton is in the coal business. Part of the Silverton acreage is used to raise cattle and grow crops.

Great Notion suffered from shin problems early during his 2-year-old season and spent time recuperating at Silverton. “They were nagging problems, nothing serious,” Miller said.

Great Notion, who captured his debut by a nose, won at Turfway Park in his next start by 81/2 lengths. He then finished second by a nose in the Jan. 4 Turfway Prevue Stakes. In the Southwest, he got clear early and won by nine lengths.

Great Notion, who is Triple Crown nominated, is the eighth stakes winner for Elusive Quality. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud Management, Elusive Quality stands for $30,000 at Sheikh Maktoum’s Gainsborough Farm near Versailles, Ky.—D.S.