Although the price could be considered as rather steep, the gelding has already earned back more than half of his purchase price in two months and has yet to not collect the first place check for his new barn.
“I’m always looking for horses,” Bier explained. “I was looking for a few at Woodbine and this horse was actually racing against one I was interested in by the name of Ellis Park. It just so happened a friend of mine who is an agent knew the people (who owned) the horse and that he was for sale. People thought he was priced awful high after just winning a maiden. They wanted $70,000 Canadian for him and I really never argued much about the price.
|Shopping With Art (#5) scored in 1:51.4f in his most recent start on Feb. 14 at Dover Downs.|
“He came home that night in 1:51.3, with a last quarter in :27, so I thought he was worth it,” he continued. “A lot of people probably wouldn’t have bought him because he didn’t race at two and three, but after watching all his races I thought he was going to be fine. I don’t know what problems he had in the past, but he looked like an up and coming horse.”
Bred by Kentuckiana Farms Gen Par and Mar-Lo Stables, Shopping With Art is only the third foal from his dam but the Precious Bunny mare earned $329,740 in her racing career and produced the Western Hanover horse Lonestar Legend p,3,1:49.3h ($398,258) on her first cover.
The gelding was thought highly enough of as a yearling to sell at the 2009 Lexington Selected Sale for $82,000.
He made his first start on Oct. 15, 2012, at Woodbine which was a third place finish in a $19,380 contest and was second under the same conditions on Oct. 22 and Nov. 5 over the same oval.
The only time Shopping With Art has not hit the board was in his fourth start on Nov. 26, but he returned on Dec. 3 with his maiden victory in 1:51.3. He is now on a seven race winning streak while competing exclusively in 2013 at Dover Downs. He is in to go on Thursday (Feb. 21) in a $16,500 conditioned race over the same oval and will leave from post eight in race 13 with Bier in the bike.
“He’s really wonderful and is a class act,” the Smyrna, Del., resident said. “He really doesn’t do anything wrong at all. The only downside to him is I wish he would have been three turning four so I could have put him in the Clyde Hirt, the Exit 16W and other series like that.”
For now, Shopping With Art will remain at Dover Downs, but Bier will not pass up the opportunity to try him in a new series.
“There really only was one race to put him in,” he said. “Jeff Gural wrote it through the Meadowlands and he is in that. I think it’s called the Hudson River Racing Series. It goes through the Meadowlands, Pocono Downs, Tioga Downs and then back to the Meadowlands. It’s for New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania-breds that are non-winners of $150,000, so almost anyone can be in there.
“They told me when he was for sale, he had some issues in the past but was fine now,” Bier continued. “I don’t know whether it was a growthy thing or what, but it did take them awhile to get him going. I just know I’ve never had a problem with him and his caretaker Brad Sawyer said he’s an easy keeper.”