Holly Rincon's Remarkable News took the lead at the start of the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) and never looked back, notching a 2 ½-length victory while leaving the 3-5 favorite Artie Schiller a well-beaten fourth at Saratoga Sunday.Artie Schiller, the 2005 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner is now 0-for-3 in 2006. He beat only Noble Causeway in the five-horse field, finishing 7 1/2 lengths behind.
"You come into this race and think that whoever can beat Artie Schiller will win," said winning trainer Angel Penna Jr, as Remarkable News returned $11, $4.90, and $6.90. The 4-year-old Venezuelan-bred son of Chayim completed the 1 1/16-mile distance on the inner turf course in an excellent time of 1:40 4/5 on firm going. "It may be that Artie Schiller is not as good as he was before. Nevertheless, he is still a good horse. When you see it on paper, you don't want to be on the lead, but there is no speed, so we ended up on the lead."Remarkable News, under regular rider Javier Castellano, opened up a lead as Artie Schiller took a stalker's position outside of Diamond Green, content to track an opening quarter mile of :24.54 and a half of :48.22. But Remarkable News, carrying 117 pounds and getting five pounds from Artie Schiller, seemed to get stronger. The favorite was in obvious trouble on the far turn."I had a great trip," said Artie Schiller's jockey, Garrett Gomez. "He left the gate in good shape. When it came time to answer the questions, he just didn't answer any. He was empty at the quarter-pole."In the stretch, Artie Schiller struggled between horses while Remarkable News won under steady right-handed urging, drifting out slightly in mid-stretch."The horse relaxed," said Penna, who will now consider either Belmont Park's $150,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on Sept. 30 or the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland on Oct. 7 for Remarkable News. "Everything went right, and he responded. I could be wrong, but I think he is the first horse to go wire to wire this meet on the grass. Today, I wanted to see if this horse belonged here. He proved it to me. We're going to keep him at a mile."In addition to proving that he belonged in this kind of company, Remarkable News also responded to a new strategy. Remarkable News closed to finish second behind Rebel Rebel in the one-mile Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont July 2.
"After the last time, when he had a troubled trip, we learned something: he doesn't want to be held back," said Castellano. "He likes to run free. With no speed in there, they let me go slow the first and second quarter, and when I asked him to run, he gave it to me. This horse has never been better."Remarkable News led at every call in winning the Connaught Cup (Can-III) at Woodbine May 28, his only previous graded victory. Overall, the chestnut colt has won six of nine starts while pushing his earnings to $415,480.Ashkal Way returned $5.10 and $7 for second, while show horse Diamond Green paid $7.70. Earlier in the day, Classic Pack won the $150,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Series, edging Oedipus O'Neal by three-quarters of a length.
The 3-year-old Classic Pack, ridden by Fernando Jara, ran 1 1/8 miles on the turf course in 1:47.65 and paid $19, $9.30, and $5.90. Oedipus O'Neal returned $7.60 and $4.60, and Fairway Drive paid $9.80 to show.
Classic Pack has four career victories in nine starts.(Chart, Equibase)