01/06/2015 2:16PM

2014 Eclipse Awards: Artemis Agrotera

Barbara D. Livingston

There could not possibly have been many three-race winning streaks in 2014 as enthralling as the one compiled by Artemis Agrotera during a two-month summer period.

Bred and owned by Chester and Mary Broman, Artemis Agrotera was spectacular during that span, which was followed by a disappointing, year-ending defeat in the Breeders’ Cup.

Based primarily in New York with veteran trainer Mike Hushion, Artemis Agrotera had been a Grade 1 winner as a 2-year-old of 2013 by winning the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park in just her second career start. She concluded her juvenile campaign with a fifth-place finish in the BC Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.

Given plenty of time to gear up for her sophomore year, the New York-bred filly was soundly beaten when eighth in her return to action, the Grade 1 Acorn on the June 7 Belmont Stakes undercard in her only race of the year against 3-year-olds. Hushion then pulled back a bit when entering her in a second-level allowance for statebreds during the first week of the Saratoga meet, with Artemis Agrotera flaunting her class in capturing the seven-furlong race by 10 1/4 lengths under Jose Ortiz and earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Next came her strongest effort of the year. Always prominent after breaking from post 1 with Rajiv Maragh aboard, Artemis Agrotera dominated a terrific group of older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Ballerina on the Aug. 23 Travers undercard at Saratoga, winning the seven-furlong race by 6 1/2 lengths as a 4-1 chance and earning a career-high 103 Beyer.

“This filly has always been a special filly every day I’ve had her,” Hushion, a 66-year-old native of New York City, told Daily Racing Form afterward. “I was more confused by the couple of times she didn’t run well, and it never surprises me when she shows up big. I left it up to Rajiv. She broke out of there pretty good, he took it from there, and it worked out well. To win a Grade 1 at Saratoga, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Her next victory was not nearly as easy but far more dramatic. Seemingly beaten when the field turned for home in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom on Sept. 20 at Belmont Park, Artemis Agrotera was wheeled out to the middle of the track by Maragh when still about eight lengths behind the run-off leader, La Verdad.

Somehow, Artemis Agrotera came flying home in time to nail La Verdad by a head in the 6 1/2-furlong Gallant Bloom, prevailing as a 2-5 favorite and earning a 94 Beyer.

“I didn’t think she had any chance,” Hushion said afterward.

Kept at Belmont to prepare for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint six weeks later, Artemis Agrotera failed to show her usual punch with Jose Ortiz back aboard for the seven-furlong race at Santa Anita. Sent away as one of the top wagering choices at 9-2 in thefield of ten, she was never a serious factor when finishing seventh, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by the victorious Judy the Beauty.

Artemis Agrotera, named for the Greek goddess of the hunt, was sired by Roman Ruler and produced by Indy Glory, by A.P. Indy. The bay filly finished her season with three wins from five starts for earnings of $541,800, giving her an overall record of five wins from eight starts and $943,800.

The Bromans, who live in West Babylon, N.Y., have been stalwarts of the New York breeding and racing scene since the mid-1990s, having been honored on several occasions by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Their Chestertown Farm is a 300-acre spread located about 50 miles north of Saratoga Springs.

Hushion said several days after the Breeders’ Cup that he and the Bromans intend to race Artemis Agrotera as a 4-year-old and that she most likely will focus on longer races.