April 24, 2005


It was Artiscape night at Dover Downs last Monday as Maltese Artist and Rainbow Blue set world records in their respective Classic series divisions winning in 1:48.3f and 1:49.4f respectively.

Maltese Artist (Artiscape-Hula Dancer) younger full brother to stake and open winner Artesian p,4 1:49.1 led throughout staving off the late bid of pocket sitting Life Source after parking Georgia Pacific the middle half.

Rainbow Blue (Artiscape-Vesta Blue Chip) the 2004 horse of the year had to come first up against the formidable pacesetting Glowing Report powering past in the stretch for a one length victory. Another ARTISCAPE filly ARTBITRATION (Serious Smile) was a close up third.

Maltese Artist iss a rather interesting story. He had a swollen hock at sales time due to OCD removal. This turned off some buyers even though he had always exercised and videoed sound. He was also somewhat uninspiring during early training although Linda Toscano always said he “had ability”. And now he’s got a world record.

Got lotsa good Artiscapes destined for Harrisburg come November, Among them are NARACULESE (Naraculous) a full brother to Articultator p,4,1:49.2. Also ARTSTREOS (Special Addition) from a “Panderosa” sister to rising sire Astreos p,3,1:49,3.. Better look at him Mr. Christoforou! Other headliners might bet the first foals ARTGENTINA from the $147,000 winner La Orillia Rumba. ARTRISTOCRACY from the 1:53.3 Expensive Ashley and ARTCHDUKE from a mare Stew Firlotte always liked named Mattcentuate p,2,1:55.4

Among the more intriguing Artiscape fillies will be ARTHROSCOPIC (Doc’s Girl) the full sister to Artiology p,3,1:51.3 and half sister to The Real Ideal p,2,1:53.4. Also AVANT ART from Diamonique Mindale p,4,1:55f she a sister to Richie Gillock’s good Wolfdancer Mindale p,1,1:50.2 ($405,749) and perhaps NARTICAL MILE the first foal of $200,000 plus winner Kings Narcissus p,3,1:52.3

According to the associated press, a bettor has filed suit against the connections of Sweet Catomine alleging that the track (Santa Anita) the owner and trainer committed fraud by failing to disclose the filly’s health problems prior to the race.

Have often wondered if indeed a judge would rule that a track via its acceptance of a pari mutual wage has in fact assumed a fiduciary responsibility to the sanctity of that transaction by warranting the horse in question is fit to perform and/or intent on performing to the best of its ability as dictated by its connections.

Better believe we’ll be monitoring this situation for the ramifications become very interesting in the event the suit is upheld.

Sweet Catomine last year’s champion 2-year-old thoroughbred filly was the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby against male rivals. After running poorly it was revealed that the connections considered scratching her but were reluctant to do so following the swell of publicity surrounding her anticipated encounter with the boys.

It was also revealed that Sweet Catomine had been surreptitiously removed from the premises identified as a stable pony in order to receive medical treatment one week prior to the race.

Sounds like the bettors do indeed have a legitimate gripe and it’ll be interesting to watch this thing play out.

Sweet Catomine has been retired either for veterinary reasons or completely sound depending upon which report one reads and booked to A P Indy.

Can still remember when one particularly irate bettor took a similar matter into his own hands one night at a New York track.

Seems there were some rather noticeable vocal criticisms at the replay monitor distinctly directed at a leading driver who opted not to “pull” an odds on favorite despite having ample opportunity to do so. As a result the horse finished boxed in under a stranglehold. This did not go over well with the betting public. At some point the driver’s lone “defender” identifying himself as the owner rather pompously suggested the drive was by design since WE didn’t want to win again and risk class upgrade.

This caused one chap confront to confront the owner demanding he personally refund his now worthless $50 win ticket since no where on the program did it state “the horse was just exercising.

The owner arrogantly brushed him off and started to walk away but the bettor was insistent. Voices escalated. Shoving ensued and with a right hand Rocky might have envied, the bettor flattened the owner, shoved the ticket halfway down his throat and stormed away. By the time security arrived, nobody saw or knew NUTTIN.

The Berrys Creek eliminations are set for next Saturday. This’ll flush out some glamour boys. Undoubtedly Jeff Cohen’s impressive Four Starz Sisco (The Panderosa-Lizbet Kash) is being pointed to that one.

Like the grit showed by Ideal News (Western Ideal-Whats New) winning The Blossom in 1:52. She had to come a long way just to reach contention in midstretch.

Dean Hoffman provided preliminary statistics on the performance levels of foals produced via embryo transport. At first glance the results seemed rather routine. The outstanding fillies Invitro and Forever Starlet were embryo transports as were other successful performers. There were also a number of unsuccessful performers but many were from old or problem mares and might have been “misses” even if carried naturally to term. Obviously there will be even further studies and with additional input trends may prove more apparent.

Really do endorse the sentiments expressed by Chris Roberts in the April TROT rebutting the thoroughbred trainer who referred to bettors as idiots. Chris indicates how horse racing is indeed a spectactor sport and how the performers must adhere to certain standards just as all athletes and entertainers must within their individual spheres. Those failing to measure up do tend to get “cancelled”.

Back in our other life in the grandstand handicapper we were always conditioned to monitor the toteboard as it so often mirrored what was likely to occur. Did notice Ken Rucker’s Western Ideal colt Mantrix went off favorite against the previously unbeaten John Adams and won nicely..

True Force (Falcon Seelster-Kravis Center) further justified “commissioner” Scotty Tickets’ convictions via an impressive 1:50.4 tally over prospects Odds On Duane and Jo Pa’s Shark. True Force unfortunately is not a Berrys Creek eligible.

Venerable Angel Be Good (Abercrombie-I’m No Angel) will be dropping a Red River Hanover baby any day now. Angel really perked up when switched to the Western Hanover line with stakes performers Odds On Charmaine and Brandons Cowboy by Western Hanover and The Panderosa respectively. She also has IN GOOD HANDS a rather grand looking Aces N Sevens colt headed for Harrisburg this fall.

Hey Stew Firlotte, Dodge Kitty one of your personal projects just dropped a very nice Artiscape colt and it won’t surprise either one of us if that youngster turns out good. i

Lots more next week.

Bob Marks



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