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Monday, June 10, 2013

Art Major and the Cup

VFTRG contributor Joe F. says don't count out the off-spring of Art Major from this year's North American Cup in this piece  Joe also talks about the Artiscape and Roll with Joe paces from yesterday. 

Art Major and SBSW were not contemporaries, but they do have a history together: SBSW is still smarting from that loss to Art Major’s son, Art Official, in the Pace. And while Captaintreacherous and his sire, SBSW, stand as the most obvious and seemingly compelling story line for the 2013 Cup, remember that while there are three sons of SBSW in the final, there are also three sons of Art Major. And one of them, Fool Me Once, put up the fastest winning time on Saturday night.

While SBSW dominated the sales in the fall, Art Major was, once again in tough times, amazingly consistent. At Harrisburg 44 Art Majors sold for an average of $34,000, while in 2011 48 brought an average of $38,000. Yes, his fee dropped 20%, but he’s still the most expensive pacing stallion in New York.

When Captive Audience closed on The Captain, sending a wave of angina through the collective heart of Team Treacherous, as well as those who knocked him down to 1/5, it brought to mind the sour stomach Dragons Lair gave Team Guida when he upset Nihilator in the 1984 BC. How appropriate, seeing as the fourth dam of Captive Audience, Shadylu Hanover, was a half-sister to Dragon’s Lair. Both were out of the super-mom, Sandys Sable.

Captive Audience was a $95,000 Harrisburg buy, but that didn’t win him much respect during his freshman campaign. He wasn’t favored in any of his ten starts and routinely went off at odds of 22/1, 37/1, 13/1, 8/1 and 44/1. He paid $90 when he upset the likes of Rockin Amadeus, Fool Me Once and Odds On Equuleus in the Champlain. Captive Audience finished third behind Captaintreacherous in the Nasagaweya at 37/1 and was also third behind that one in their Metro elimination, where he went off at 13/1.

Another son of Art Major, Fool Me Once, was very strong as he won the second elimination in :48.1, last quarter in :26.4. Last year Sweet Lou won his elimination in :47.4 but he came home almost a second slower than Fool Me Once did. Lou hit the three-quarter mark in a speedy 1:20.1, while Fool got there in 1:21.2, and the other two splits got there in 1:22 and 1:22.3.

Fool Me Once is a full-brother to George Teague’s, Feel Like A Fool. The fast but fractious gelding finished strong as a freshman with wins in the Bluegrass, ISS and Matron, and was expected to be a top five sophomore, but he never met expectations. Fool Me Once’s second dam, Spurred On, is half to the 2003 two-year-old C&G Pacer of the Year, I Am A Fool.

Odds On Equuleus, another Art Major, also made the final off a closing second place finish to Vegas Vacation. Last season Equuleus won the Nasagaweya, a division of the  ISS and, although the curious crew in the judges stand stole it from him, a split of the Bluegrass.

His dam, Latte Lady, is a full sister to the almost millionaire, Driven To Win. The dams of Equuleus and Fool Me Once are both by Jenna’s Beach Boy. The latter’s daddy, Beach Towel, is the sire of SBSW’s dam, Wheres The Beach. See how it all comes together. Sure it does.

It is noteworthy that both Art Major and SBSW are battling to upend the tsunami that is Meadow Skipper. SBSW is revitalizing the Volomite branch running through Sampson Hanover, and The Captain could be his first crop extender—Team Treacherous certainly hopes so. Fourteen-year-old Art Major is carrying the burden of extending Artsplace, and Adios, too, for that matter, but there is no obvious extender on the horizon. The first crop of Art Official was received at the sales with the sort of enthusiasm generally reserved for broken dust collectors at a yard sale. Hypnotic Blue Chip?? Ah, no. Santana Blue Chip??? Please. Could it be Fool Me Once or Equuleus? Artsplace will be gone seven years in the fall. He was only 18 when he passed. The clock is ticking.

And how about the Art Major filly, Belle Boyd, finishing second behind the two-year-old champion, I Luv The Nitelife, in the Fan Hanover elimination. Belle, a $90,000 Lexington purchase, is out of the Western Hanover mare, Yankee Luck, a full sister to 2004 Tattersalls Pace winner, Yankee Lariat. She came into Saturday’s race a perfect seven for seven in 2012, having swept both the Blossom and Princess series.

I hope Art Major gets some recognition in the buildup to the Cup for his fine showing on Saturday night at Mohawk.

What was more far-fetched, Jamieson thinking he was going to blow by Anndrovette and TT on the back in the Artiscape, or Brennan thinking he was going to do the same to Sweet Lou and YG with Cheddar in the RWJ? Last year it was Gingras and Foiled putting the heat on JC and Bettor Sweet in this race, but he waited until the last turn to do that. Lou had been used hard out of the gate, but not that hard.

Anndrovette had also been used plenty getting to the top at the start in the Artiscape, but so had Big McDeal in that nasty :25.1 opening quarter. You can see why JJ didn’t want to sit in behind Anndrovette with Feeling You moving up, but Tetrick’s mare wasn’t spent to the degree that she was going to let Big McDeal take the inside from her. I suppose Brennan and JJ both felt that simply marking time first up was a recipe for slow but sure death against that crowd.

The Bettor’s Delight is now the Roll With Joe? It makes sense from the perspective that BD is now in PA and has been replaced at Blue Chip by his little brother, but tell me, has there ever been a duller three-year-old division winner than RWJ? He was the equine equivalent of Ambien. Why don’t they call it the Art Major? At least he earned a million dollars at four. What does RWJ have to do with FFA pacers?

1 comment:

JLB said...

It's one thing for Brennan to try to outbrush the leader with a well-bet horse, quite another for JJ to pull the pocket at odds of longer than 50-1.