By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY—After yielding to Split The House at the quarter, Tony Alagna-trainee Artspeak sat patiently in the pocket before pulling out at the three-quarter pole and rallying to the wire whilst holding off the bid of Lost For Words in his 1:47.4 triumph in the $450,000 Tattersalls Pace on Saturday, Oct. 10 at The Red Mile.
Scott Zeron sent Artspeak to the top heading to the opening quarter, passing it in :27. Split The House soon tipped first over and cleared the lead before the half, timed in :53. Enjoying no pressure on the lead, Artspeak generated a challenge that created a 1:20.1 third-quarter, and was soon alongside the pacesetter. Lost For Words, tracking Artspeak into the stretch, fanned wide and accelerated towards Artspeak, but Artspeak dug in and fought off Lost For Words, hitting the wire in 1:47.4. Rock N’ Roll World was third, and In The Arsenal was fourth.
Sired by Western Ideal from the Artsplace mare The Art Museum, Artspeak collected his fifth win in 15 starts this year, paying $8.20 to win. He races for the interests of Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners.
“I really respect Split The House,” Scott Zeron said. “He beat me one day when he followed me [in the New Jersey Classic at the Meadowlands], so I knew we were following a great horse there. I’ve always wanted my horse to be in a spot like that with fractions [like that], and he delivered.”
“I was pretty enthused in the post parade just by the way he felt,” Zeron also said. “To come back off of two heats [in the Little Brown Jug] and to be that strong and aggressive, and to go a lifetime mark of 1:47[.4], is impressive.”
“We’ve had a great meet,” Tony Alagna said. “We’ve had a lot of horses step up. Our two two-year-olds yesterday were fantastic [American Passport and Racing Hill]. We brought this horse down here hoping we could get the mark he deserved and it worked out tonight; he got his :47-and-change mark. We couldn’t be more pleased with him.”
“He came down here, he was undefeated, and when I warmed him up the second week, the track was wet,” Alagna also said regarding bringing Artspeak to Lexington last year. “It [the track] was real punchy underneath, and, of course, hindsight’s never wrong: I should’ve pulled his back shoes that day because he had stifled joints and cords were getting to him late in the mile; that’s why he got rough. Today was a nice redemption for the horse because he deserves it. I’ve been telling people all year that this horse is racing a lot better than people realize, and he showed that today.”
“With the support of my customers, we bought some really nice stuff [yearlings] this year. I’ve got a great staff. They give me the ability to go out and look at horses and do what I need to do. They do a great job for me here at The Red Mile when I’m out doing what I need to do in the days and the nights. It’s been a great meet.”