thrilling edition of the Spiral Stakes took place on Saturday at Turfway
Park. We Miss Artie got up in the shadow
of the wire to nip the dueling Harry’s Holiday and Coastline. After breaking a touch slowly, We
Miss Artie didn’t appear comfortable as he raced with a raised head and
climbing motion during the first quarter, but jockey John Velazquez did a masterful job of settling the
colt into seventh place behind the first two flights of horses. We Miss Artie
made a solid move five wide around the far turn. Through the stretch, the colt seemed
unfocused and hung slightly, until Velazquez got after him with a left-handed smack.
The Todd Pletcher trainee responded with another gear
and moved up in time to grab the victory by a nostril.
Miss Artie stopped the clock in 1:52.26 for the 1 1/8 mile race over the
Polytrack. The time is comparable to 2011 Spiral hero Animal Kingdom’s race of
1:52.32. We Miss Artie is the flavor of
the week and shares the spotlight with Samraat atop the leaderboard of the
Kentucky Derby standings with 60 points.
WE MISS ARTIE (Artie Schiller - Athena's Gift, by
Fusaichi Pegasus) sold for $90,000 to Ken and Sarah Ramsey at the 2012
Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The
colt was a distant second in his July 2013 debut traveling five furlongs over
the Belmont Park dirt. A month later, We Miss Artie didn’t miss, as he switched
to turf and stretched out to a more suitable 1 1/16 miles. After a poor showing
in the With Anticipation Stakes as the favorite, the Todd Pletcher trainee won
the Dixiana Futurity over the Keeneland Polytrack. We Miss Artie had an
eventful trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, as he bobbled at the break, made
his way up to third place after a five wide move, hung, and then faded to
seventh. After a runner-up placing in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes on the Gulfstream
lawn, We Miss Artie showed nothing in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, his
previous start before the Spiral. We
Miss Artie has compiled an 8-3-2-0 ($609,000) race record.
a racehorse, ARTIE
Prado (IRE) - Hidden Light, by Majestic Light) was as tough as they come. He
finished in the money 18 of 22 starts, fourteen of those starts were in stakes
races, and earned $2,088,853 in four years. The son of a racing champion and
leading sire out of a multiple G-1 winning mare, Artie Schiller was practically
unbeatable between a mile and 1 1/8 miles, earning victories against some of
the best turf runners of his generation. The highlight of Artie Schiller’s
career was the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile, where he defeated a stellar
international cast that included eventual 2005 Champion Turf Horse
Leroidesanimaux, the spectacular French mare Gorella and defending champ
Singletary. Artie Schiller tried the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles twice,
finishing second to Kitten’s Joy beaten by over two lengths in the Virginia
Derby (G-3) and was third in the Manhattan Stakes (G-1) behind Good Reward, a
horse he defeated in four meetings at shorter distances.
Schiller started his second career at stud in 2007 at Hurricane Hall, then
moved to Pauls Mill Farm in 2010. He
relocated to WinStar Farm where he currently stands for $15,000. Artie Schiller has sired 22 stakes winners,
eight of them graded. Not surprisingly, the majority of his winners are best
over the lawn, (35%). His graded stakes
winners include My Conquestadory (Alcibiades Stakes G-1), Mr. Commons (Arcadia
Handicap G-2), and the Aussie-bred Group 1 turf winner Laser Hawk, who is his
sire’s only stakes winner at 1 ¼ miles.
are two stakes winners in We Miss Artie’s second generation, plus his second
through fourth dams all own blacktype.
We Miss Artie’s fifth dam Feria was an Italian Two Year Old
Champion. There is a mix of domestic and
international stakes winners sprinkled throughout We Mis Artie’s pedigree three
Pegasus - Russian Bride, by Saratoga Six) wasn’t as precocious as her son. She
needed seven attempts and two years to win her maiden, getting the job done in
a one mile turf event at Woodbine. She came
back just two weeks later to beat a full field of allowance runners at 1 1/8
miles over the lawn. In her next and final appearance on the track, Athena’s
Gift was fifth, beaten four lengths in the 1 1/8 mile Virginia Oaks (G-2). She
retired with a 9-2-3-0 ($121,766) record. Athena's Gift won or placed in five
of seven starts over turf and Polytrack.
She failed to hit the board in two dirt starts.
young broodmare, Athena's Gift bore only one other foal of racing age, We Miss
Artie’s older half-sister Speed Goddess (by Johannesburg). Athena's Gift has a
2012 unnamed colt by Arch and a 2013 colt by Harlan’s Holiday.
Gift is a half-sister to the multiple stakes placed Rushin'
to Altar (by Pulpit). We Miss Artie’s second dam Russian Bride (by Saratoga
Six) won a listed stakes and placed in three other stakes races over dirt and
turf. Russian Bride’s full sister Agotaras was a multiple stakes winning
sprinter. She’s the second dam of Alysheba Stakes winner Forty Grams (by
Distorted Humor) and Pegasus Wind (by Fusaichi Pegasus) who was third in the
2006 Champagne Stakes.
FUSAICHI PEGASUS (Mr.
Prospector - Angel Fever, by Danzig) is the only son of the legendary Mr.
Prospector to win the Kentucky Derby. The stallion finished in the money eight
of nine starts, including victories in the Wood Memorial and Jerome Stakes. His
sole off the board finish was ironically, at Churchill Downs, the scene of his
greatest victory. Fusaichi Pegasus finished sixth in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup
Classic, where he ran seven and eight wide the entire way.
daughters have borne 348 runners. Of those, 18 are stakes winners worldwide.
Fusaichi Pegasus’ daughters may be passing along the turf-oriented genes of his
damsire Danzig as only three of their offspring are stakes winners over the
Distance wise, three
(Brazilian, Peruvian and Australian) are stakes winners at 1 ¼ miles. In the
U.S., Fusaichi Pegasus is represented by only two winners at 1 1/8 miles as a
broodmare sire; We Miss Artie and Ausus, a G-3 winner over turf.
We Miss Artie’s second
damsire SARATOGA SIX (Alydar
- Priceless Fame, by Irish Castle) was an expensive $2.2 million dollar
yearling. The precocious juvenile won all four of his starts, including the
Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Del Mar Futurity. Considering his sales
price and race record, Saratoga Six was a disappointment at stud and spent his
final days on a stud farm in Texas. The
late stallion is shining as a broodmare sire; his daughter’s offspring include
Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice (by Roman Ruler, a son of Fusaichi Pegasus),
plus Grade 1 winners Champagne D’Oro (by El Prado’s son Medaglia
D'oro), Alphabet Kisses (Alphabet Soup), Diplomat Lady (Forestry), and the full
sisters Madcap Escapade and Dubai Escapade (Hennessy). Of course, there’s
always that one exception, but Saratoga Six primarily imparts speed attributes
to his daughter’s offspring.
Schiller/Fusaichi Pegasus match has produced only one runner.
Miss Artie has the body of a route horse, with a laid-back shoulder, short back
and short cannon bones. The nicely balanced colt is more on the lean side,
rather than owning a powerful muscular structure. This is the typical body structure of a turf
Miss Artie didn’t seem to care for the Polytrack kickback in the early stages
of the Spiral. He appears to paddle very slightly with his left foreleg (at
least on the Polytrack), otherwise, the son of Artie Schiller is a smooth mover
with good leg extension.
questions than answers surround We Miss Artie after his victory in the Spiral
Stakes. He may handle 1 ¼ miles of the
Kentucky Derby. Dirt surface? Well...
The major issue here is surface. I’m not convinced that he does his best
running on the dirt. His sire gets only 28% dirt winners and We Miss Artie’s
dam was unplaced in two attempts over the surface. We Miss
Artie did place in his debut over the dirt, but was 6 ½ lengths behind the
winner. His other two dirt starts saw
him finish off of the board. Remove the two dirt stakes races from his resume,
and the Canadian-bred colt has won or placed in every start over turf and is
undefeated on the Polytrack.
we have the “who did he beat” question.
Other than Taramundo, the rest of the field has little recent graded
stakes form. That leads us to review previous winners of the Spiral. Only two colts in seven years, the amazing
Animal Kingdom (2011 Derby winner) and Hard Spun (who was already a graded
stakes winner over dirt), have finished in the top three in the Kentucky Derby,
although a special mention goes to Went the Day Well, who had won his maiden
over dirt and placed fourth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. The rest (excepting last year’s Black Onyx,
who was injured before the Derby) finished well off of the board.
year, turf/Polytrack horses are pointed towards the Kentucky Derby. The majority are sucker bets and finish out
of the money. We Miss Artie is a game
colt, but if he looks like a turf router and runs like a turf router…well
chances are, you can finish this sentence. Can We Miss Artie place in the
Derby? Sure, anything is possible. Is he likely to wear the blanket of
Roses? I’m betting against it.
Conformation photo credit - Elizabeth Ovelman