Updated on 09/17/2011 5:48PM

Artie Schiller gives Jerkens his own shot at Cup glory


Jimmy Jerkens has ventured outside of New York on two occasions to run highly regarded horses in the Breeders' Cup. But those stabs at racing glory were both on behalf of his father, Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, under whose name Devil His Due and Sky Beauty both finished unplaced in back-to-back runs in 1993 at Santa Anita and 1994 at Churchill Downs.

This year, Jimmy Jerkens will have a Breeders' Cup starter he can call his own. Artie Schiller, a 3-year-old whose lone defeat in his last six starts came to Kitten's Joy, the heavy favorite in the BC Turf, is scheduled to arrive Sunday at Lone Star Park to begin his final preparations for a run in the $1.5 million BC Mile.

Jerkens, 45, resigned his position as his father's assistant in 1997 to go out on his own. After more than 300 victories and stable earnings exceeding $14.3 million, Jerkens seems to have earned his way to the Breeders' Cup - and so has Artie Schiller.

"His competition the last couple of starts has been kind of suspect, but he certainly handled them easily enough," said Jerkens. "After he's pounced, he's won pretty easy, and his times have all been good. He should fit pretty good."

As usual, the Mile is a deep and extremely competitive race, but Jerkens is optimistic that Artie Schiller, owned by Timber Bay Farm and Mrs. Thomas Walsh, has the capability of prevailing.

"I'm optimistic just on the fact that I know he's doing good," said Jerkens. "I'm pretty pessimistic naturally - or more than I should be to be a horse trainer."

Because Artie Schiller, a stalker, has been racing at distances slightly longer than a mile, "it may sound like it will be hard to back up to a mile around sharp turns," said Jerkens. "But I wouldn't want to change anything as far as strategy goes. We've got to save him for the stretch run, and if his kick is good enough, then it is. If it isn't, it's not."

Richard Migliore, the New York veteran who has ridden Artie Schiller in seven of his last eight races, has the mount in the Mile.

Other confirmed riding assignments include Jerry Bailey on the defending champion, Six Perfections; John Velazquez on the possible favorite Nothing to Lose; Corey Nakatani on Blackdoun; and Victor Espinoza on Special Ring.

Six Perfections, along with the other three European horses pre-entered in the Mile - Antonius Pius, Diamond Green, and Whipper - are scheduled to arrive Monday at Lone Star following a transatlantic flight from Shannon Airport in Ireland. The International Racing Bureau reported Friday that the connections of all four horses have said they intend to run.

The defection of Balto Star, who was reported injured Friday, has little impact on how the field shakes out for the Mile, since he was expected to run in the Turf anyway.