Artemis Agrotera proved her smashing debut maiden win over New York-breds at Saratoga Race Course was no fluke when she captured the $500,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Oct. 5 at Belmont Park (VIDEO).
Chester and Mary Broman's homebred daughter of Roman Ruler out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy Glory was ridden to victory by Jose Lezcano for trainer Michael Hushion.
Artemis Agroterea sat a perfect trip off pacesetter Tea Time, taking the lead at the head of the lane and holding 3-5 favorite Sweet Reason safe in deep stretch for a 1 1/4-length victory.
Sweet Reason, the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner at Saratoga Sept. 1, broke dead last in the field of seven and did well to finish second. Stopchargingmaria was third. The final time for the one-turn mile was 1:36.25 over a fast track.
The race earned the winning connections an expense-paid starting slot in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) as a Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" race.
Artemis Agrotera, the 4-1 third choice, paid $10.60, $4.00, and $2.60, topping a $22 exacta with Sweet Reason, who returned $2.40 and $2.10 while losing for the first time in three starts. Stopchargingmaria paid $2.30.
"I saw (Sweet Reason) coming, but watching as many races as I have over this track, I knew at the sixteenth pole (Sweet Reason) had her work cut out for her and we were in good position," said Hushion.
He said he would wait for a couple of days to see how Artemis Agrotera recovers from the Frizette before making a decision on the Breeders' Cup, which would be her first try around two turns.
The winner, named for an ancient Greek temple site in Athens, won at first asking Aug. 16 at Saratoga when she galloped from the rail to defeat state-bred rivals by nearly 12 lengths going six furlongs.
Outsider Tea Time went to the front as Sweet Reason, breaking from the rail, swerved in leaving the gate and fell eight or nine lengths behind.
"She just ducked in (at the start)," jockey Alex Solis said. "She's never done that before. It's just one of those things. It's one of those things that babies do."
Tea Time led comfortably over Artemis Agrotera through easy fractions of :23.30, :47.41, and 1:11.81 before Artemis Agrotera, from the two path, was given her cue coming out of the turn to soon poke her head in front.
Artemis Agrotera had a one-length advantage at the furlong marker as Sweet Reason unwound a courageous charge from the center of the track for Solis. But the determined winner never wavered while maintaining the lead through the wire.
"She broke good, put herself in position, and when I asked her, she took off and won the race," Lezcano recited. "She acted very, very professional today. She did everything right in the gate and in the race, and did the job."
Sweet Reason finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of Stopchargingmaria, who failed to threaten as the 3-1 second choice. Divided Attention, Ria Antonia, Tea Time, and Recepta completed the order.
Artemis Agrotera earned $300,000 for the victory.