Artie Schiller and Timo, evenly matched foes as 2-year-olds last year who went their separate ways over the winter, resume their rivalry in Sunday's $100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.After finishing first and second in a Belmont allowance race and 1-2 in the Pilgrim last year, Artie caught some rays in South Florida while Timo enjoyed Fair Grounds in New Orleans.They met again for the first time as 3-year-olds when Artie Schiller got the better of Timo in Pimlico's Woodlawn on the Preakness undercard. The colts will battle a fourth time in the Hill Prince on the Belmont lawn.Artie Schiller and Timo, who are both by El Prado and rank among the nation's leading 3-year-old turf horses, lead the way in the Hill Prince. Six horses were entered in the body of the race, while four horses, including Belmont Stakes (gr. I) entrant Master David, were entered for main track only.
Owned by Mrs. Thomas Walsh, Artie Schiller drew post 6 under jockey Richard Migliore. He enters the Hill Prince with a record of 4-1-1 from eight starts. On the season, he is undefeated in a pair of turf races, having won an allowance race at Aqueduct on May 1 and the aforementioned Woodlawn 14 days later on May 15. Yet as good as he's been lately, Artie Schiller's trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, says there is a good chance the colt has not fully realized his potential. "Yeah, I think so," said Jerkens when asked if Artie Schiller could improve off his recent efforts.
Artie Schiller, who finished second in his only other appearance on the inner turf course, carries 120 pounds, two less than Timo. In the Woodlawn, Artie Schiller received seven pounds from Timo.Timo could not match strides with Artie Schiller in an allowance race last September but turned the tables on his rival when upsetting the Oct. 19 Pilgrim. Since then, he has won Calder's Mecke and Keeneland's Transylvania (gr. IIIT). A colt that doesn't back down from a heated battle in the final furlong, Timo has a similar, stalking style to Artie Schiller's. A win in the Hill Prince would even the score at two wins apiece."I'm looking forward to getting back to Belmont. I really think it will help us," trainer Bill Badgett Jr. said. "It's a little wider and he's obviously run some good races over this course. He's really trained super for this. He's game and obviously pretty close in ability with Artie Schiller. It should be a good race."Jockey John Velazquez, who won this race in 1997 with Subordination, will ride Timo.
War Trace is a son of the nation's most expensive stallion, Storm Cat, out of the multiple grade 1 winning mare Memories of Silver. During her racing days, Memories of Silver won five graded stakes on the New York turf, including the Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. Like his mother, Jimmy Toner trains War Trace.
War Trace, who drew post 4 under jockey Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, a four-time winner of the Hill Prince, enters the race off a Belmont Park allowance win on May 13. Overall, he is two for three on turf, his lone defeat coming as the favorite in Keeneland's Forerunner.$100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. War Trace, Jimmy Toner, Jerry Bailey, 114
2. Good Reward, Shug McGaughey, Jose Santos, 118
3. Kennel Up, Allen Jerkens, Jorge Chavez, 114
4. Timo, Bill Badgett Jr., John Velazquez, 122
5. Big Booster, John Kimmel, Javier Castellano, 114
6. Artie Schiller, Jimmy Jerkens, Richard Migliore, 120
Main Track Only
7. West Virginia, Todd Pletcher, 120
8. Master David, Bobby Frankel, 120
9. Forest Grove, Todd Pletcher, 114
10. Ecclesiastic, Kiaran McLaughlin, 114