09/13/2009 12:00AM

Cherokee Artist sharp at Presque Isle

Renee Torbit/Coady Photography
Cherokee Artist rallies under Jeremy Rose to win Sunday's Presque Isle Mile.

ERIE, Pa. - Cherokee Artist rallied from just off the early pace to win the at Presque Isle Downs on Sunday evening.

Trained by Graham Motion, Cherokee Artist was kept to the outside by jockey Jeremy Rose, before rallying on the far turn and into the stretch to win by 2 3/4 lengths. J's Sundance Halo finished second, a half-length in front of a late-closing The Roundhouse in third. Vacation, the 8-5 favorite was fourth and Motovato, the 9-5 second choice finished fifth.

A 4-year-old Cherokee Run colt, Cherokee Artist faced Vacation, the Presque Isle Mile favorite, two races ago at Arlington in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap and ran third to that rival.

"We were trapped down on the inside or otherwise I thought we were best in that race." Rose said.

Rose kept his eye on Vacation in the Presque Isle Mile.

"Last time he got the first jump on us," Rose said. "I wanted to make sure we got the first jump this time, and we did. We got a clean trip, and he is such a classy horse."

Cherokee Artist set a new stakes record, running the mile in 1.35.82 over Presque Isle's Tapeta surface. He returned $7.80 to win.

Motion was pleased with Cherokee Artist's performance, but not surprised.

"He is a very, very good horse and I always thought he had the potential to be a serious graded horse," Motion said. He did it nicely and has a lot of ability."

Motion is unsure of what is next for Cherokee Artist but the Breeder's Cup Mile is not out if the question. Cherokee Artist has now won four of his nine synthetic track starts, and has only finished worse than third once. The BC Mile will be run over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. Cherokee Artist won two optional claiming races at Santa Anita last winter.

"I was thinking about it on the way over here," he said. "If he won we would have to consider it. He ran well at Santa Anita and this would be the next step to see if he as good as I think he can be."

Motion said he will discuss the matter with owner J. Mack Robinson in the near future.