“Art Collector” wins the 2020 Toyota Blue Grass; qualifies for the Kentucky Derby
LEXINGTON, Ky. (KEENELAND) – Art collector Bruce Lunsford passed filly Swiss Skydiver at the eighth pole and claimed a 3½ length victory on Saturday afternoon in the 96e $ 600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) race for 3-year-olds.
Coached by Tom Drury Jr. and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Art Collector has collected 100 qualifying points for the $ 3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on September 5 at Churchill Downs. With Saturday’s victory, Art Collector has 100 points, good for fourth place in the standings. The Kentucky Derby is limited to the top 20 point winners who pass the entry box.
The victory was the first in the Toyota Blue Grass for Hernandez and the first high-stakes victory for Drury.
Swiss Skydiver, who is the points leader for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), collected 40 points in her first race against men. That total matches Rushie, third at Toyota Blue Grass, who is not nominated for the Triple Crown. Enforceable collected 10 points for finishing fourth to bring his total to 43, good for 12e place.
Escaping from the near post, Shivaree took the lead with a slight favorite Swiss Skydiver and Art Collector in pursuit. Under Mike Smith, Swiss Skydiver took the lead halfway down the home stretch with Art Collector just behind.
The two leaders quickly opened up the light of day to the rest of the peloton, fought on equal terms all the way to the top of the stretch before Art Collector emerges. Art Collector completed the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1: 48.11.
The win was worth $ 360,000 and increased Art Collector’s earnings to $ 548,475 with a record 8-4-1-0. Art Collector is a son of Bernardini from Kentucky and the Distorted Humor Distorted Legacy mare.
The art collector paid $ 6.60, $ 4 and $ 3.20. Swiss Skydiver brought in $ 4.20 and $ 3.40 with Rushie finishing 4 behind in third under Javier Castellano and paying $ 4 to show.
It was another neck back to Enforceable, which was followed in order by Attachment Rate, Mr. Big News, Finnick the Fierce, Tiesto, Hard Lighting, Basin, Shivaree, Hunt the Front, and Man in the Can.