Tucked under cover for most of the race, Artie Schiller broke loose from the back to pull away to a 3 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Woodlawn Stakes on the Preakness undercard.
Owned by Mrs. Thomas Walsh and Timber Bay Farm, Artie Schiller is trained by Jimmy Jerkens. He was ridden to victory by Richard Migliore. The 3-year-old son of El Prado
, out of the Majestic Light mare Hidden Light covered the 1 1/16-miles on turf in 1:41.86.
"The horse was in the right place at every point in the race," Migliore said. "You may have just seen the best 3-year-old in this race. We were really pleased with the trip and the outcome."
Sent off the 5-2 second choice in the 13-horse field of 3-year-olds, the turf-loving Artie Schiller paid $7.40, $4.40, and $2.80. Lipan, part of a Michael Gill-owned entry, was second and paid $7.80 and $3.40. Timo, the 8-5 favorite, finished third, paying $2.60. The 8-1 exacta paid $125.
"Things got tight through the lane," said Abel Castellano Jr., who rode Lipan. "If it opened up, I think we would have shot through and challenged the winner."
Victory Light broke best of all and was the leader as the field passed the stands the first time, but it was Urban Warrior that grabbed the lead as the field headed around the first turn. King's Coronation, Victory Light, and Timo tracked. As the field straightened out down the backstretch, it was El Prado Rob that was rushed up to the lead under Shane Sellers.
The early splits were :24.41, :48.34, and 1:12.23. El Prado Rob had an open lead heading into the final turn, but the field began to bunch. Urban Warrior, with King's Coronation to his outside tracked, along with Victory Light.
In early stretch, Artie Schiller broke through the pack and took over within a few strides. The mile split was clocked in 1:36.21. He covered the final sixteenth in a rapid :5.65.
"I was really glad to see the ground-saving trip we got," Jerkens said. "When you are able to tuck in like that you save your horse so much. This horse was skinny last winter, but the allowance win (May 1 at Aqueduct) signaled he was back. It's always nice to see them explode in the stretch."
Artie Schiller, who claimed his first stakes victory, was bred in Kentucky by Haras Du Mezeray. He was a $67,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 2002. In all, he now has a 4-1-1 slate from eight starts with four wins and a second in five turf starts. His earnings stand at $179,853.