Artie Schiller runs to victory in the Hall of Fame Stakes.

Artie Schiller runs to victory in the Hall of Fame Stakes.

AP/NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Artie Schiller Avoids Hall of Fame Suspense

Even-money favorite Artie Schiller avoided a troubled stretch run and streaked to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Saratoga turf Monday.

It was the third winner of the afternoon for jockey Richard Migliore, who enjoyed an ideal trip with Artie Schiller behind a moderate pace and came with a rush on the outside of the pack to win in 1:47 3/5 for the 1 1/8-mile event. The race was contested on firm going.

The trouble started when Good Reward and jockey Edgar Prado, who were tracking behind the leaders Icy Atlantic and Street Theatre, tried to come off the rail in mid-stretch. Icy Atlantic came out a bit under jockey John Velazquez, while Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, aboard Street Theatre, tried to find a hole inside that had suddenly vanished.

Bailey snatched his mount, who nearly stumbled forward, but Migliore steered to the outside. Once Artie Schiller shot past, the rest was easy. Despite losing his whip, Migliore won drawing away.

"He was the real deal today, but I don't think we've seen the best of him yet," said Migliore of his third winner of the afternoon. "With the turn of foot he showed today, he's going to win some major races. I felt special about him for a while. I would lay myself on the line and say he is one of the best 3-year-olds on the turf.

"I had to wait for a spot. He got a little keener than I wanted him to be. It was a matter of waiting for a spot. Edgar (Prado, on Good Reward) was inside of me and there wasn't room for two of us. He got kind of halfway inside of there and I said, `This isn't going to work out.' I steadied off of Bailey's horse's heels a bit and I eased him into the clear. I knew once he saw daylight, it was over."

Artie Schiller, a son of El Prado from the stakes-winning mare Hidden Light, has now won four of his last five starts and is 6-for-12 overall. Owners Mrs. Thomas J. Walsh's and Timber Bay Farm earned $90,000 for the win. Artie Schiller was bred by Haras Du Mezeray S.A. in Kentucky.

Icy Atlantic and Street Theatre battled on the front end through fractions of :23 1/5; :47 1/5; and 1:10 3/5.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will likely run Artie Schiller once more this meet, and then look to the weight-for-age races at Belmont Park in the fall.

"He gets that last quarter like gangbusters," Jerkens said. "Mig (Richard Migliore) was able to position him the right way on the first turn, and that was what we were most concerned about. We didn't want him too close and we didn't want him too wide. He tucked in nice. It got a little hairy when he was in between horses, and I thought he might not want to give it. Once he was in the clear, he had a lot of horse left."

Jerkens said the $100,000-added Saranac (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at 1 3/16 mile on closing day Sept. 6 is the likely spot for Artie Schiller, who paid $4, $2.90 and $2.60.

Mustanfar ($6.80, $4.90) nosed out Good Reward ($5.30 for second after hitting the gate at the break. He closed nicely while four wide but never threatened the winner.

Second Performance, Icy Atlantic, Preachinatthebar, Broadway View and Street Theatre followed.

"We had a pretty good trip," said jockey Pat Day of Mustanfar. "He broke a little flat-footed from farther back. But just looking at the papers, there wasn't an over abundance of pace in the race. I thought we would have been mid-pack somewhere, but wound up last on the backside. But we were able to get to the outside. He held and ran big, but we were just second best today."

Dealer Choice and Kennel Up were scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)