Jockey Richard Migliore, who has ridden many stakes winners since being honored with an Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice in 1981, says he has sat on only two horses that were the complete package, or as he put it, "a horse that has no chinks in the armor."Hidden Lake, a filly Migliore rode to three grade I victories in 1997 and ultimately an Eclipse Award as champion older mare, is one of them. The other is Artie Schiller, a top 3-year-old turf horse who is running in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont (gr. IIT)."I haven't found (a weakness) and I think that's why I get such a big kick out of (Artie Schiller)," Migliore said. "You can go out there feeling very clear headed and confident when you're on him. I've ridden a lot of really good horses that always gave you something to worry about. It's a rare combination when you have a horse with his kind of ability who is also manageable and easy to ride."Migliore and the colt he has developed a soft spot for will attempt to win their fourth stakes of the season when they start at a short price in the Jamaica at nine furlongs on the inner turf course.Artie Schiller, who won the Hill Prince over this course in June, is the starting highweight at 123 pounds in the six-horse field. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Artie Schiller makes his first start since winning Saratoga's National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) on Aug. 9. Artie Schiller showed how tractable he is that sultry afternoon at Saratoga, as he let Migliore take hold of him while accelerating on the far turn.
"He was trying to drag me up in between two horses and I didn't want to go," said Migliore, who has won the Jamaica three times. "I knew I was on a much the best horse and didn't want to put him in a position where I would have to check and have to get him started again."
Artie Schiller, who has won races on the lead and closing from well off the pace, has won four of five starts on the turf this year. He lone defeat on the grass came at the hands of Kitten's Joy, who is considered the top three-year-old turf horse in the nation. Kitten's Joy was nominated to the Jamaica, but is bypassing the race in favor of next Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at a mile and a half at Belmont Park. "When he can run easy early on and lay close early, I don't think there's a horse that can beat him," Jerkens said.
Post position -- horse, jockey, weight
1--Kennel Up, Jose Santos, 114
2--Artie Schiller, Richard Migliore, 123
3--Rousing Victory, Cornelio Velasquez, 113
4--Icy Atlantic, John Velazquez, 120
5--Reggie for Three, Edgar Prado, 111
6--Dealer Choice, Javier Castellano, 117