Artwork Collector repeats as Alydar winner at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Artwork Collector galloped residence the winner in Saratoga’s Thursday characteristic, the $135,000 Alydar Stakes, to win the race for the second consecutive time. However the path to get into the race was circuitous at finest.

The Alydar is a mile and a furlong race restricted to horses which haven’t gained a sweepstake in 2022 apart from state bred. After successful the Alydar final 12 months by 1 1/2 lengths, the Bruce Lundsford color-bearer took the trophies for the 2021 Grade II Charlestown Basic and the Grade I Woodward earlier than ending sixth within the Breeders’ Cup Basic.

Artwork Collector opened his 2022 marketing campaign with a Twelfth-place end within the Saudi Cup. As a result of that was his solely begin on this calendar 12 months, he was allowed to begin once more within the Alydar, a race named for what many have termed “the horse with the worst luck ever.”

Alydar, who was foaled at Calumet Farm and skilled by John Veitch, completed second to champion Affirmed in all three of the 1978 Triple Crown races. After getting away from that arch-rival, Alydar compiled a lifetime file of 14 wins in 26 begins.

He stood his stallion profession at his birthplace. His most notable offspring was Alysheba, a Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Basic winner.

Artwork Collector adopted his standard front-running route on his technique to his second Alydar. After breaking second within the subject of 5, the son of Bernardini seized the lead throughout the first quarter-mile and was by no means troubled after that.

Jockey Luis Saez, who was on his technique to a driving triple for the afternoon, employed a light hand experience on the head of the house stretch after which sat statue-still on the best way to a two-length win over the runner-up, Masqueparade. It was one other 7 1/2 lengths again to lengthy shot Chess Chief in third place. Artwork Collector ran the 9 furlongs over a quick monitor in 1 minute, 51.64 seconds.

Corridor of Fame coach Invoice Mott, who was visiting the winner’s circle for the sixth time on the assembly, was happy with Artwork Collector’s efficiency saying, “He’s high quality with the gap. He likes the monitor and it was a very good comeback race for him since he hasn’t been out since February.”

Mott stated he wouldn’t have been stunned if “the surface horse (Masqueparade) needed to go to the lead. We might have let him go after which we’d have a goal. Because it turned out (Artwork Collector) was on the lead by himself and going simply sufficient.”

Saez echoed the coach’s pondering when he stated, “My plan was to interrupt from there. I do know he’s fairly quick. So, if he will get the lead, we’ll take it. If not, we’ll monitor any individual. He’s a horse you may experience any method you break.”

The Alydar victory for Artwork Collector was his ninth in 19 begins. His $74,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings to greater than $1.7 million.

Artwork Collector, the 4-5 favourite, paid $3.60 to win, $2.60 to put and $2.10 to point out. Masqueparade paid $2.70 and $2.10. Chess Chief was value $4.50 to point out.

It appeared Mott was going to comply with final 12 months’s path along with his cost when he stated, “Brief time period, we’re undoubtedly pondering of going to the Charlestown Basic (Aug. 26) with him.” If that path continues, the following crossroad could be the $500,000, Grade I Woodward within the fall.

Alex Orr Jr. is a longtime horse racing author.

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