2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Contender: Artemis Agrotera

September 25, 2014 03:34am


Coming on the heels of her game win in the grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park over the weekend, Artemis Agrotera has put the rest of the filly and mare sprinters on notice. There may be someone ready to fill the top role for the division left void by the retirement this year of Groupie Doll (winner of the last 2 BC Filly & Mare Sprints). For those who have followed her throughout her career it is not at all surprising to see her blossoming into a potential star.

Artemis Agrotera, a NY-bred filly trained by Mike Hushion, had shown talent right from the onset. She broke her maiden at first asking while breaking from the one-hole (not an easy task) at the Spa last August in front running style. She was immediately moved up into stakes company next out in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park where she pressed the pace and dug in down the lane to become a grade 1 winner in just her second career start. She finished up her 2 year old campaign by heading to Santa Anita for the BC Juvenile Fillies. She pressed a strong pace that day while finishing 5th in her first and only start around two turns.

Artemis Agrotera enjoyed a nice winter/spring vacation after the Breeders’ Cup and began her sophomore season in the grade 1 Acorn at Belmont last June. It may have been too much to ask off of a layoff, though, as she ended up finishing a tiring 8th after pressing a lively pace, while wide throughout. From there her connections seemed to regroup and she received a short break to gear up for the upcoming Saratoga meet. This time she did not disappoint.

While facing elders for the first time in a state-bred N2X, and shortening up to seven furlongs, Artemis Agrotera absolutely demolished the field by 10 ½ lengths while leading gate to wire. She earned a career best Beyer of 97 for her efforts. It appeared as though she was really coming into her own. She had matured and you couldn’t help but feel that seven furlongs was the trip she liked best. Next out, she was back into grade 1 company in the Ballerina at Saratoga and improved once again earning a new career Beyer top of 103 while pressing the pace, and overcoming the one-hole, to draw off by 6 ½.

All of this leads us to this past weekend’s sparkling performance in the Gallant Bloom where she showed a new dimension in closing from off the pace to run down a game pace-setter. Those who had bet her down to 2/5 favoritism had to be worried. In her previous races she had always been racing on or near the lead and she had found herself 7 lengths back at the half through super-fast fractions. She appeared to be in trouble entering the stretch five wide with a lot of work to do. You had to think the pace-setter would back up after setting a grueling pace, but it looked as though she may indeed hang on. She kept grinding it out though and got up just in time to snatch the victory in a thrilling stretch drive. It was a visually impressive performance that proved she has top shelf class.

The filly and mare sprint division needs a new hero and Artemis Agrotera may just be the one that can fill that role. She has shown talent, exuded class, and is in the best form of her life. She has shown versatility and has seemed to have found her niche sprinting. The rest of the division better bring their “A” game if they plan on taking her down at Santa Anita in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint because this filly is on top of her game.


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 Meet Michael Barry   


 It all started 5 years ago for me after a spur of the moment trip to Saratoga Springs with my future wife.  I had always bet on the Triple Crown races, and made a few trips to Suffolk Downs annually, but not until that journey to The Spa did things get serious for me.  I fell in love with horse racing right then and there and I haven’t looked back since.  The following year I read every handicapping book I could get my hands on.  I became, and still am, a very passionate student of the game. 


Through this blog I hope to take you guys through my favorite aspect of the game, which is breaking down races and doping out winners.  I focus my attention between the NYRA circuit (mostly), Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.  I also plan to provide very thorough coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.  I love analyzing the prep races leading up to both of those grand events. 


Wagering wise, I love playing pick 4’s and 5’s, and I have enjoyed some success in the past playing those types of exotics.  In any given race, I try to attack based on strength of opinion and value.  That may be in the form of an exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick 3, or by laddering my choice across the board.  Every race is its own animal and must be played accordingly.


Personally, I am a graduate of Boston University and reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts with my beautiful wife Tara and wonderful son Finn.  I work as a technician for a communications company by day. 


I can be found on Twitter @mbarry24 and I’m always up to discuss anything horse racing related.

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