08/28/2014 11:13AM

Mohawk: Artspeak odds-on to capture Metro final

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Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron easily captured his Metro elimination.

Those who follow the standardbred sport know all too well how much time and money it takes to produce a champion. Sometimes no matter how much time or money a breeder has, champions don’t follow. Artspeak, an undefeated son of Western Ideal, is the odds-on favorite to capture Saturday’s $667,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk. It’s been a long road to get here but one person isn’t all that surprised.

“The Art Museum, his dam, was a perfect individual,” said Myron Bell, racing manager for Brittany Farms. “Trevor (Ritchie) gave her a four which is his highest mark for a yearling. He doesn’t give out too many fours.”

Yet Bell needed to do a lot of coaxing to convince Brittany Farms owner George Segal to pull the trigger. Segal partnered with owner Melvin Hartman and bought Art Museum for a hefty $170,000 as a yearling.

“She was out of a sister to Southwind Lynx,” said Bell, referring to the Meadowlands Pace-winning horse.

Needless to say as much as a picture as Art Museum was as a yearling, she never got her picture taken in a photo finish.

“She couldn’t break 2:45,” said Bell.

Fortunately for Segal there were many other options available. Brittany’s control over so many of the leading stallions in the sport made it easy to find a mate for the daughter of Artsplace. Western Ideal produced her first foal, a filly name Acquavella. She was a stakes-caliber two-year-old for trainer Tony Alagna.

Her second foal was a colt by American Ideal. His name was Fort Knox and he didn’t quite live up to expectations.

Her third foal is the aforementioned Artspeak. He’s the first colt by Western Ideal and Alagna was able to purchase him for $100,000 last fall.

“He’s got three things that are very important,” said Bell. “Number one, pedigree. Number two, gait. Number three a willingness to go on.”

Artspeak also has a top driver and manners to suggest he has yet to be truly tested.

“I don’t think the group up here is that strong,” said Bell from Toronto. “I think he’ll meet better horses once they go to Lexington.”

Scott Zeron will guide Artspeak, the fastest elimination winner from a week ago, from his selected post three in Saturday’s seventh race. He’ll start next to Go Daddy Go, the other elimination winner that opted for post two for the Hall of Fame team of driver John Campbell and trainer Bob McIntosh.

Trainer Alagna and Bell teamed up to produce Bedroomconfessions as co-breeders and there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future of the American Ideal-sired filly.

“I think she’s tied for second best,” said Bell suggesting that J K Shesalady is at this point ahead of his filly.

Bedroomconfessions selected post four in the $480,000 Shes A Great Lady final for two-year-old pacing fillies, race five on the 13-race Mohawk Saturday program.

She’ll start next to J K Shesalady (Yannick Gingras) from post three and elimination winner Band Of Angels (Ron Pierce) from post two.

The Bell-owned and managed Captaintreacherous may race in the Winbak Farms Pace on Jug Day at the Delaware Fairgrounds. “We didn’t go there last year for the Jug because we didn’t want him to race heats,” said Bell. The four-year-old will ship to the Red Mile to train prior to the September 18 contest.

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