Artie Schiller Gets It Right in 2005 Mile

Artie Schiller, who finished 12th in last year's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), came back as the 5-1 second choice to upset favorite Leroidesanimaux and take this year's edition by three-quarters of a length.

Gorella, with Gary Stevens riding, finished third. One race after Lost in the Fog's 10-race winning streak was snapped, Leroidesanimaux' eight-race streak went the same way.

Artie Schiller was winning for the 10th time in 19 starts for Mrs. Thomas J. Walsh and Timber Bay Farm. He not only became a millionaire with the victory, with the $1,053,000 winner's share, Artie shot to $2,003,853 in lifetime earnings. He has won half of his eight starts over the Belmont turf. Jimmy Jerkins trains the son of El Prado out of the Majestic Light mare Hidden Light.

It was the first Breeders' Cup win for the Jerkens family. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens is the son of Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens.

"This horse always runs his eyeballs out," Jerkens said. "The race happened the way you dream about it. The horse has a strong run but it's a short one and you have to time it just right. He saved ground and he got out just at the right time and everything worked out."

The race was marred by the breakdown of Funfair, who was pulled up through the field and collapsed, having to be taken off the track in an ambulance with a broken leg. After examination, Funfair was later euthanized with a multiple fracture.

"He broke down behind," Prado said. "We were fourth at the time and I tried to pull him out so he didn't go down in the middle of the field."

The mare Sand Springs took the early lead in the race, with Ad Valorem and Valixir prominently placed early as well, through an opening quarter in :23.47 and a half in :46.68.

Around the bend Sand Springs tried to hold on, but Ad Valorem grabbed the lead with Leroidesanimaux, ridden by John Velazquez, lurking close by. The latter got to the front in the stretch but seemed to toil over the soft going. Singletary, last year's Mile victor, loomed large but failed to kick on down the lane.

Artie Schiller, though, had no such trouble. Piloted by Garrett Gomez, who picked up his second winner on the Breeders' Cup program while replacing the injured Richard Migloire, Artie Schiller was clearly going best the final 100 yards. He stopped the clock in 1:36.10. Leroidesanimaux held second by a nose. Gorella finished a head in front of Whipper and after that, the order of finish was Majors Cast, Limehouse, Host, Singletary, Ad Valorem, Valixir, and Sand Springs.

"He left the gate a little flat-footed and I was a little worried because when I looked outside, half the field was in front me," Gomez said. "Part of the advantage of being down inside like this, some of the guys get hung out, and some drop out, and I ended up in a good spot. Then I just had to wait and at the top of the lane and, I finally got out a little bit. And when he went, he really went and did what he had to do."

Artie Schiller, who was bred in Kentucky by Haras du Mezeray, paid $13.20, $5 and $3.90. Leroidesanimaux returned $3.80 and $3. Gorella was $6 to show.

"I tried to get him to stay back off the others on the backstretch, but he was strong the whole way," said Velazquez, who has been aboard Leroidesanimaux for his past three starts. "He was just very aggressive, and he because of that, I could never get him to the point where he felt comfortable without getting in his mouth.

"He did try in the stretch when I asked him. He just didn't have enough left to hold off the (winner)."

Leroidesanimaux raced with bar shoes.

"When we took the shoes off him this morning to put new ones on, we found out we had to put aluminum pads on him," said trainer Bobby Frankel. "We didn't know this until this morning. He walked and warmed up fine with those shoes. Even though I thought about taking him out of this race, I thought it was going to be OK. It was the shoes and the outside post that got him beat today. Maybe (Velazquez) should have put him on the lead, but that's just second guessing."

(Chart, Equibase)