Multiple grade II grass winner Artie Schiller powered his way to the lead as the 10-horse field hit the top of the stretch to register a 2 1/4-length victory in Friday's $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The 4-year-old stopped the clock in 1:34.09.
Gulch Approval was second, with Good Reward three quarters of a length back in third.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens for William Entenmann's Timber Bay Farm and Mrs. Thomas Walsh, Artie Schiller hasn't raced since finishing unplaced in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park last October.
Ridden in the Maker's Mark for the first time by Edgar Prado, Artie Schiller (by El Prado
) was well-placed early near the inside following pacesetters Trade Fair and Gulch Approval through fractions of :23.76 and :47.11 for the half-mile. Prado and Artie Schiller eased out four-wide turning for home before inching to the front as the field hit the upper stretch, crossing the wire under a steady drive.
"We just sat there nice and easy and when I pressed the pedal, he flew," Prado said. "I love riding horses with that much class."
The late Paul de Moussac's Haras du Mezeray S.A. bred Artie Schiller in Kentucky from the Majestic Light mare Hidden Light.
The victory, Artie Schiller's eighth in 14 career starts, was worth $155,000, pushing his bankroll to $710,853.
As the 3-2 favorite, Artie Schiller returned $5, $3.80, and $2.80. Gulch Approval paid $8.60 and $4.60, while Good Reward returned $4.20. The $2 exacta paid $65.20 and the trifecta returned $280.60.
Mr. Light, Trade Fair, Cool Conductor, Salford City, Muqbil, 9-2 second choice Laura's Lucky Boy and B.A. Way completed the order. Old Forester and America Alive were scratched.