Campbellville, ON --- Proving that he is indeed the continent’s best 2-year-old colt pacer, prohibitive favorite Artspeak demolished his rivals Saturday night (Aug. 30) in the C$667,000 Metro Pace, the richest race in North America for juvenile pacers, at Mohawk.
Joining such past champions as Rocknroll Hanover (2004), Somebeachsomewhere (2007), Sportswriter (2009) and Captaintreacherous (2012), the unbeaten and still untested son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum came calling around the far turn, following Go Daddy Go, took over after three-quarters of a mile and drew off at will while out in the middle of the track, crossing the wire 3-1/2 lengths in front in 1:50.2.
|New Image Media photo|
|Artspeak was a 1:50.2 winner in the Metro Pace.|
Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna (who also conditions Captaintreacherous), Artspeak had entered the Metro final off a similarly easy win in his elimination. In fact, his smallest margin of victory has been 1-3/4 lengths.
Longshot Lone Survivor took the field through an opening quarter in :26.3 and the half in :55.3. However, Hall of Famer John Campbell had Go Daddy Do, the other elim winner, on the march from fourth, while Zeron followed him.
Go Daddy Go took over at the three-quarters in 1:23.3, but was no match for the winner down the stretch, eventually fading to fifth. Lyons Levi Lewis came on for second, with Lyons Again third.
“When we had Captaintreacherous and he started his career, we’ve had such an amazing ride with that horse. And to come back and have this colt right after that, it’s amazing, it’s surreal,” said Alagna.
“I talked with Scott (Zeron) last fall and I told him that if he wanted to come down (to the States) and try it, I was willing to give him a shot. He made the commitment, he’s done the farm training, baby racing, training before qualifiers so he deserves the win.”
“Tony had trained the mare and had trained the previous two horses out of the mare. He really loved the family and thought the mare would throw a great horse some day,” said Torontonian Marvin Katz, a co-owner of Artspeak who was celebrating his third Metro win. He was also a partner in 2011 winner Simply Business and 2012 champion Captaintreacherous.
“He selected the horse in Lexington (for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale) and basically put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. It never gets old when you can win these kind of magnificent races. The challenges that are involved in this business, the opportunities to be able to participate and stand out here (in the winner’s circle), this is an absolute thrill and to be enjoyed.”
Added Zeron, “This is the whole purpose of it. I really stuck my neck out going down there (to the Meadowlands) by myself. I worked as hard as I could this year. This is the reason why I did it. To go down there and get a horse like this. He’s once in a lifetime.
“To be second-over was a dream trip for that horse. He follows horses so well. Today I was able to trip him out behind a really nice horse of John’s. And when I showed him some air down the lane, he was game. He’s a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2. I didn’t even chirp to him.”
It was the sixth win in six outings for Artspeak, who earned C$333,500 for the win to push his bankroll to more than C$460,000, with plenty more to come on the horizon.
As the 1-9 choice, Artspeak paid $2.30, $2.10 and $2.10, combining with Lyons Levi Lewis ($14.90, $11.40) for a $34.70 (3-6) exactor. A 3-6-8 (Lyons Again, $3.10) triactor was worth $99.80 while a $1 superfecta (3-6-8-4--Traceur Hanover) came back $332.65.