DIXIANA FUTURITY | PURSE: $400,000 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 1 | 1 1/16-MILES
We Miss Artie caught front-runner Smarty's Echo in the stretch and shook clear to win the$400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-olds in an upset Oct. 5 at Keeneland.
Amidst hard, driving rain, We Miss Artie was steadied between horses on the first turn before John Velasquez settled the Artie Schiller colt in eighth as 7-2 favorite Solitary Ranger and General Jack set the early pace. We Miss Artie was ready to roll when given his cue as the leaders tired and Smarty's Echo took charge in the stretch. He swiftly advanced to second from eighth on the far turn, and then seized control to draw off as Smarty Echo yielded.
Sent off at nearly 10-1 odds, We Miss Artie won the 1 1/16-mile race on Polytrack by 2
¾ lengths in 1:46.91. Smarty's Echo hung on for second two lengths in front of Arctic Slope, who rallied from last and willingly split horses in the stretch to take third. Solitary Ranger faded to ninth in the 12-horse field.
"He had a little bit of trouble into the first turn, had to steady him out of there, then I gave him a chance up the backstretch," Velasquez said of the winner. "Going to the second turn we saved a little bit of ground. Then when I pulled him out, he saw the light and that's when he started running."
We Miss Artie's victory was the second in a grade I race in two days for WinStar Farm-Based Artie Schiller, whose 2-year-old daughter My Conquestadory won the Darley Alcibiades Stakes Oct. 4 at the Lexington track.
We Miss Artie qualified for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at the Futurity distance Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park with the win in the Breeders' Futurity, a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, We Miss Artie has two wins and a second from four career starts. He entered off a sixth-place finish in his stakes debut in the With Anticipation Stakes on grass Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course after breaking his maiden there on grass in his second outing.
The Ramseys bought We Miss Artie for $90,000 out of the Cara Bloodstock, agent, consignment at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. The $240,000 winner's share of the Breeders' Futurity purse boosted his career bankroll to $307,000.
Bred in Ontario by Richard L. Lister, We Miss Artie is out of the winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare Athena's Gift.