Train to Artemus makes it two stakes wins in a row (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)
By Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park
OCEANPORT, N.J.— Kelly Breen may have made more successful claims over the course of his 31-year training career but he was hard-pressed to come up in the immediate aftermath of Train to Artemus’ 1¾- length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Goldwood Stakes at Monmouth Park.
“This is one of the tops,” said Breen. “We’ve had a couple of stakes winners in the past that we’ve claimed but not one as repetitive as this filly. She’s just very game. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Claimed for $35,000 for owner M and W Stables last Aug. 28, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar-Pay Day Kitten by Kitten’s Joy notched her third stakes victory since coming into Breen’s care.
In nine starts for Breen, the turf-sprinting specialist has won six times with a second.
“I can’t believe he got her for $35,000,” said winning jockey Paco Lopez. “She’s a very nice filly.”
The winning time for the 5½ furlongs over a turf course listed as firm – though the race was contested in a downpour – was 1:03.44.
“It’s hard to put into words what this means,” said Breen, locked in a three-way tie with Chad Brown and Claudio Gonzalez for leading trainer honors with 10 winners apiece. He has won three training titles at Monmouth Park. “A few weeks ago (following neck fusion surgery) I was down and out. My wife even said today `you’re going to go to winner’s circle in this rain?’ I told her I miss days like this.”
Able to secure a stalking position in third behind the early speed of Sweet Temperament and Glitter Up through an opening quarter in :21.99 and a first half that went in :45.19, Lopez split horses coming out of the turn and Train to Artemus took off. She paid $4.00 to win in the field of seven fillies and mares 3 and up, recording her ninth victory in 16 career starts. She is 6-for-9 sprinting on the turf.
“Sometimes you have to play the break,” said Lopez, now 3-for-3, all in stakes races, aboard Train to Artemus. “This filly broke very well today. She was sitting right where I wanted her behind the speed. So I just had to wait. I knew I had plenty of horse. She never hesitated when we needed to split horses.”
Can’t Buy Love was second 1¼ lengths ahead of longshot Roselba.