(WHAS11) – We Miss Artie, a Polytrack specialist from the powerful Ken Ramsey barn, has won the Grade (III) Spiral Stakes at Turway Park and the 50 Derby points that almost assure Ramsey another starter in the Kentucky Derby.
It was just the second race on the Polytrack surface for We Miss Artie and both times he's made a dramatic closing move down the stretch to win a graded stakes race.
The son of Artie Schiller first came to prominence last fall by winning the Grade (I) Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, but then he finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on dirt.
At Turfway, back on his favorite surface, We Miss Artie stalked the pace and then ran by Harry's Holiday and Coastline to win in a photo finish. The time for the mile and 1/8th was 1:52.26.
Ken Ramsey has never made a secret of his desire to win the Kentucky Derby and We Miss Artie is now a likely starter despite his sire Artie Schiller who made his living on the grass.
Another synthetic turf lover, Harry's Holiday, was second by a nose, and the gray Coastline was third, another neck behind.
Among the disappointments was Tamarando, the multiple graded stakes winner, who had shipped in from California for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Tamarando got a slow start and never fired, finishing eighth.
Solitary Ranger, the winner of the John Battaglia, the Spiral prep, pressed the early pace but faded to ninth. And the once highly touted Almost Famous, with Calvin Borel in the saddle beat just one horse.
We Miss Artie has been working in Florida for trainer Todd Pletcher and will likely return the Palm Meadows training center before shipping into Churchill. Another Derby prep is not likely.
For the connections of Tamarando, it may be back to the drawing board. The horse needs more Derby points to qualify and time is running short.
Most of the other finishers have probably been eliminated from Derby consideration.
On this day at Turfway one dream lives, the others turned to dust. (Or whatever you call a handful of Polytrack)