Horse Racing

Art collector defends title in Alydar


Bruce Lunsford’s Half-Blood Art collector proved to be too much for his four opponents. August 4 at Racecourse Saratogaas he successfully defended his title in the $135,000 Alydar Stakes, a nine-hair long test for old horses that have yet to win a stake other than state-bred horses in 2022.

Coached by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Art Collector has come a long way since he last won the Alydar in 2021, making trips to West Virginia, California and a final trip to Arabia. Saudi Arabia in February as he ended up being crowned Saudi Cup (G1) champion before returning to the scene scoring his 3 1/2 goal last year.

Art Collector delivered a similar performance for 2021, in his place at the top of the pitch and never looking back. Despite finishing twice in his last two outings, he was back running stronger than ever as Luis Saez sat motionless on Bernardini’s son down the lane and they went home with The win lasts two turns.

Posting percentages of: 24.60, :49.23 and 1:13.77, the Art Collector held a comfortable advantage in the back and into the home leg. Masqueparade who was in second place throughout, bid at the top of the lane but failed to catch the Art Collector, who hit the rope in a 1:51.84 time for nine grips.

Masqueparade finished exactly 7 1/2 lengths first Chess .

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Art Collector showed versatility in its nine wins and won from speed as well as lead. Mott said he was prepared for a potential challenge ahead.

“We thought maybe if the outside horse (Masqueparade) wanted to take the lead, we would let it go and we would have the target,” Mott said. “But as it turned out, he took the lead on his own. He seemed to have gone easy enough and it seemed every time that horse ran to him, he just maintained the same advantage. “

Saez echoes Mott’s sentiments.

“He’s a pretty cool horse to ride. He’s pretty smart,” Saez said. “He broke and controlled the pace. He converted leads at a time when he had to do it on his own, and he did everything beautifully.”

Art Collector used its previous Alydar win as a springboard to successful ranking in the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2) and Woodward Stakes (G1) later in the fall. Belmont Park. Mott said both of those races are points circled as targets for the Art Collector.

Lunsford and Mott shared some memorable moments together, including a second ending in Belmont Stakes (G1) in 1999 with Vision and a purebred Verse. Lunsford went on to own and breed a half-sister to Vision and Verse named Distorted Legacy, who produced the Art Collector.

“He’s a special horse. I love the horse. I love his rider,” Lunsford said. “Luis and I go back to his old agent (Richard DePass) and his current agent Kiaran (McLaughlin). I am really thrilled to have such a quality horse like that. here with my brothers and sisters and mother.”

Art Collector increased his total purse income to $1,729.555 and improved his record to 18-9-1-0. He returned $3.60 on a $2 bet won as a favorite for a 4-5 hand period.

This press release has been edited for content and style by the BloodHorse Staff.



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