Artie Hot Burns Favorite in Seagram Cup
Trained by Nicholas Gonzalez for owner Tucci Stables, the Kentucky-bred 4-year-old son of Black Minnaloushe earned his first graded victory by a half-length, outfighting the two-time Canadian champion older male True Metropolitan in a fierce stretch duel. It was the sixth stakes win of the meet for Gonzalez.
Palladio finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up. Artie Hot traveled 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack surface in 1:43.30.
Emma-Jayne Wilson guided the bay gelding to victory. Artie Hot, sent off at odds of 10-1, settled into a stalking position at the rail and bided his time behind the tepid but contested pace (:24.62 and :48.51) established by Jiggs Coz and True Metropolitan.
Midway through the second turn, the gelding angled inside a tired Jiggs Coz, dropped back a bit along the rail, then made good progress in the stretch. With quick strides, Artie Hot reeled in True Metropolitan and drew even with the star Terry Jordan pupil inside the final furlong.
Wilson said winding up in a stretch tussle to the inside of 18-time winner True Metroplitan, who was ridden by James McAleney, wasn't her first choice of trips.
"The opportunities were where they were and I didn't have much of a choice," said Wilson. "When True Metropolitan did move off the fence, I figured this was my opportunity to get a jump on him and get moving.
"He looked Artie Hot in the eye," she added. "It was a battle of wills. Artie did what he does best. He stuck his nose out in front when it mattered."
Now a five-time winner from 27 starts, Artie Hot increased his earnings to $334,836. He captured the non-graded Ontario Derby last September at Woodbine and has won four of eight tries on the surface since May 2007.
Richard Rowan bred the winner, who is out of Dyrce, by Sand Pit.
Artie Hot returned $23.20, $7.40 and $5.10, combining with True Metropolitan ($2.60, $2.30) for an exacta worth $81.80. Palladio ($6.50), with Richard Dos Ramos aboard, rounded out a $739 triactor.
Unusual Suspect, Summer Doldrums, Shillelagh Slew, Torquay and Jiggs Coz completed the order.(Chart, Equibase)
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