Bruce Lunsford’s homebred Art Collector proved to be an excessive amount of for his 4 rivals Aug. 4 at Saratoga Race Course, as he efficiently defended his title within the $135,000 Alydar Stakes a nine-furlong check for older horses who haven’t gained a stakes apart from state-bred in 2022.
Educated by Corridor of Famer Invoice Mott, Art Collector has been on fairly a journey for the reason that final time he gained the 2021 Alydar, making journeys to West Virginia, California, and a last-out journey to Saudi Arabia in February when he completed off the board within the Saudi Cup (G1) earlier than finally returning to the scene of his 3 1/2-length rating final yr.
Art Collector delivered the same efficiency to 2021, taking his place on the entrance of the sphere and by no means trying again. Regardless of two off-the-board finishes in his final two outings, he returned to run as robust as ever as Luis Saez sat immobile aboard the son of Bernardini down the lane they usually cruised dwelling to a two-length victory.
Posting fraction of :24.60, :49.23, and 1:13.77, Art Collector held a snug benefit down the backstretch and into the flip for dwelling. Masqueparade , who tracked in second all through, made a bid on the prime of the lane however could not catch Art Collector, who hit the wire below wraps in a time of 1:51.84 for the 9 furlongs.
Masqueparade accomplished the exacta 7 1/2 lengths forward of Chess Chief .
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Art Collector has proven versatility in his 9 wins and has gained from off the tempo in addition to on the lead. Mott mentioned he was ready for a possible problem up entrance.
“We thought possibly if the surface horse (Masqueparade) needed to go to the lead, we might let him go and we might have a goal,” mentioned Mott. “However because it labored out, he was on the lead by himself. It seemed like he was going simply sufficient and it seemed like each time that horse ran to him, he simply maintained the identical benefit.”
Saez echoed Mott’s sentiments.
“He is a reasonably cool horse to experience. He is fairly sensible,” Saez mentioned. “He broke and managed the tempo. He switched leads on the level he is purported to by himself, and he did every thing lovely.”
Art Collector used his earlier Alydar win as a springboard to graded stakes success within the Charles City Traditional Stakes (G2) and Woodward Stakes (G1) later that fall at Belmont Park. Mott mentioned each of these races are spots circled as seemingly targets for Art Collector.
Lunsford and Mott have shared some memorable moments collectively, together with a detailed second within the 1999 Belmont Stakes (G1) with homebred Imaginative and prescient and Verse. Lunsford went on to personal and breed a graded stakes-placed half sister to Imaginative and prescient and Verse named Distorted Legacy, who produced Art Collector.
“He’s a particular horse. I really like the horse. I really like his rider,” Lunsford mentioned. “Luis and I am going manner again along with his ex-agent (Richard DePass) and his present agent Kiaran (McLaughlin). It is only a nice thrill for me to have a horse of this high quality and the brothers and sisters and the mom.”
Art Collector elevated his whole purse earnings to $1,729,555 and improved his document to 18-9-1-0. He returned $3.60 for a $2 win wager because the 4-5 publish time favourite.
This press launch has been edited for content material and elegance by BloodHorse Workers.