News and STORIES

Art Collector Targeting Comeback At Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Hopefuls On Gallops

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Tuesday April 20, 2021
It was a quiet afternoon of news in the world of horse racing in the States on Monday, with all of the most talented horses in training targeting where their next run will come. One of the horses that looks almost certain to run during the Churchill Spring Meeting is Art Collection.

The owner of the talented four-year-old, Bruce Lunsford, claimed that the horse would be turning out for the first time this season for trainer Tommy Drury, and that could come towards the end of the Churchill Spring Meeting.

Art Collector Enjoyed Excellent 2020

There wasn't any denying that Art Collector was one of the stars of the season in 2020, as he won his opening four races of the season. Drury has done an excellent job with the four-year-old and helped connections claim a Grade 2 success in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. That victory was a strong example of the potential that he has, as he tracked the leaders before managing to win by a comfortable three and a half lengths from Swiss Skydiver.

He followed that up with another success at Listed company, as he won the Runhappy Ellis Park Derby in August last year. On that occasion, he beat Attachment Rate by three and a half lengths. The season didn't exactly end as many would have hoped, as he faded quickly in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, as Swiss Skydiver reversed the early season form. Art Collector could finish just fourth, which was ten and a half lengths behind the eventual winner. His most recent run came in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, as he finished over nine lengths behind Knicks Go.

Kentucky Derby Hopefuls Ride Out

Monday was also a busy day for a number of the horses that will be lining up for the illustrious Kentucky Derby in just over a week's time. One of the horses that were preparing for the Triple Crown event was Midnight Bourbon. The three-year-old is trained by Steve Asmussen, who is excited about his prospects at the Churchill Downs.

Midnight Bourbon has appeared on three occasions this season but has won just once so far. His victory came in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds in January. He followed up that run by finishing second in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, as he clocked a time of 1:12.80 over the opening six furlongs. He completed the final seven furlongs in a time of 1:26.

Pletcher Sends Hopefuls On The Gallops

Todd Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby on two previous occasions, and he will be searching for a third win in the illustrious race this year. Four of his leading contenders for the race were also on the gallops on Monday, as they were led by Known Agenda.

The three-year-old has won two from three starts this season, which includes an eleven-length victory in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Gulfstream Park on February 26th.  His most recent run on the track resulted in Grade 1 success, as he won the Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Known Agenda finished two and three-quarter lengths clear of Soup And Sandwich in that strong prep run.

He was joined on the gallops on Monday by fellow Derby hopefuls Dynamic One, Sainthood, and Bourbonic. Sainthood's rider for the big race is yet to be decided, according to Pletcher, but there is a strong feeling from connections that he could be set for a big run after finishing second in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Stakes at the end of March.

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