Small, quiet moments

For several days after his horse won the 137th <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="EVSPR000019" title="Kentucky Derby" href="/topic/sports/horse-racing/kentucky-derby-EVSPR000019.topic">Kentucky Derby</a>, Graham Motion's life ran almost entirely on coffee and adrenaline. The Maryland-based trainer couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed by all the attention after <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ANCA000026" title="Animal Kingdom (racehorse)" href="/topic/sports/horse-racing/animal-kingdom-%28racehorse%29-ANCA000026.topic">Animal Kingdom</a> won horse racing's crown jewel, but he felt it was his responsibility to spend the two weeks between the Derby and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="EVSPR000062" title="Preakness Stakes" href="/topic/sports/horse-racing/preakness-stakes-EVSPR000062.topic">the Preakness</a> accommodating every media request that he could. It was flattering to be, however briefly, the face of the sport. But it was also exhausting.<br>
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There is an image of Motion, however, that I'll never forget. Each day, as the dawn spread out over the morning mist, he would take his two Labrador retrievers, Ginger and Bentley, and walk from his office to the track at the Fair Hill Training Center in <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100607020000" title="Elkton" href="/topic/us/maryland/cecil-county/elkton-PLGEO100100607020000.topic">Elkton</a>. From the rail, he'd stand and watch Animal Kingdom as he thundered around the track.<br>
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The Preakness and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="NY0509200820" title="Belmont Stakes" href="/topic/sports/horse-racing/belmont-stakes-NY0509200820.topic">Belmont Stakes</a> would ultimately end in disappointment for Motion and his horse, but in those beautiful early-morning moments, even as the rain trickled down, it seemed like anything and everything was possible.<br>
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<i> -- Kevin Van Valkenburg</i>

( Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / May 10, 2011 )

For several days after his horse won the 137th Kentucky Derby, Graham Motion's life ran almost entirely on coffee and adrenaline. The Maryland-based trainer couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed by all the attention after Animal Kingdom won horse racing's crown jewel, but he felt it was his responsibility to spend the two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness accommodating every media request that he could. It was flattering to be, however briefly, the face of the sport. But it was also exhausting.

There is an image of Motion, however, that I'll never forget. Each day, as the dawn spread out over the morning mist, he would take his two Labrador retrievers, Ginger and Bentley, and walk from his office to the track at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton. From the rail, he'd stand and watch Animal Kingdom as he thundered around the track.

The Preakness and Belmont Stakes would ultimately end in disappointment for Motion and his horse, but in those beautiful early-morning moments, even as the rain trickled down, it seemed like anything and everything was possible.

-- Kevin Van Valkenburg

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