Now at Mott Barn, art collector scores at Alydar in Saratoga – Reuters

Art Collector wins the Alydar under Luis Saez

Bruce Lunsford’s art collector, confidently managed by Luis Saez, won Friday’s $120,000 Alydar, a nine furlong test for older horses who haven’t won a stake other than bred by the state in 2021, at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY

Recently transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, the 4-year-old Bernardini colt used a forward-thinking approach to secure his first victory since winning a pair of nine-furlong stakes in the summer last for his former conditioner, Tom Drury. , in the Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Ellis Park Derby.

“If you look at his nine furlong runs, you saw he did very well for the previous coach,” Mott said. “Tom Drury and I had been training for Bruce and Bruce wanted the horse in Saratoga, so Tommy sent the horse to us and he was fine when he came. We’ve had him for six weeks and he’s been fine since he’s been here.

Art Collector, coming out of post 4, cleared the field of eight into the first corner as a forward placed Core Beliefs protected his inside run with Bourbon War, Math Wizard and Night Ops also jostling for position through a first quarter mile in 24.51 seconds on the fast main track.

Jesus’ side, Tier 1 Pegasus World Cup runners-up in January, were slow to get away from the gate but raced into sixth down the straight by Junior Alvarado as the halfback mile passed in 48.80.

Art Collector, moving confidently under Saez, dictated the conditions on the final corner as Night Ops continued to press with the duo gaining three lengths of separation on Core Beliefs in third.

As the peloton rallied for the stretch race, Art Collector opened up three lengths under a swipe as Night Ops continued their relentless pursuit and began to close the gap. But an alert Saez shook the reins and his charge responded in kind to secure the 1 1/2 length win in a final time of 1:48.20.

Saez, who guided Art Collector to a second-place finish on his August 2019 debut at Spa, said he wanted to be placed up front.

“I rode when he was a baby and he loved being a free rider,” Saez said. “The plan was to get out of our position well and see if we could take the lead, and everything went as we planned. From there we got ahead and he continued. J saw Manny coming, but I knew I had a lot of horsepower, so I was patient with him.

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Night Ops completed the exact 8 1/2 lengths on Math Wizard. The finishing order was completed by Core Beliefs, Limonite, Prioritize, Bourbon War and Jesus’ Team.

“When I was in my position stuck in second I didn’t think the pace was too fast so I had to do my job because nobody else was going with it. [Art Collector]”, said Franco. “My horse is a horse that never gives up. He always tries. I have to give credit to the winner, but my horse was the second best today.

Art Collector, who finished his second campaign with off-the-table efforts in the Grade 1 Preakness in October at Pimlico and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland, moved to Mott after a sixth-place finish in the Kelly’s Landing in June at Churchill Downs.

Mott said Art Collector will now potentially target the $500,000 Grade 1 Woodward on Oct. 2 at Belmont Park.

Raised in Kentucky by his owner, Art Collector pocketed $66,000 in wins while improving his record to 13-6-1-0. He paid $3.80 for a winning $2 ticket.

Live racing resumes on Saturday with a loaded 12-race card headlined by Grade 1, $1 million Whitney at nine furlongs for older horses, a ‘Win And You’re In’ qualifier from the Breeders ‘Cup for the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders ‘Cup Classic.

Whitney Day also offers two other Tier 1 events with the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds racing 1 3/16 miles on Mellon’s turf and the $500,000 Longines Test for 3-year-old fillies. years at seven furlongs on the main. Track.

The card also includes the $250,000 Grade 2 Glens Chutes for fillies and older mares running 1 1/2 miles on indoor turf and the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure for children 4 years and older on the Mellon turf. The first message is at 12:35 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Norma D. Ross