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2014 Spiral Stakes Results: We Miss Artie noses out Harry's Holiday

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We Miss Artie wins the Spiral and takes a big step towards the 2014 Kentucky Derby, but can he take his synthetic form to the dirt at Churchill Downs?

"Hmmm. Looks like I didn't have We Miss Artie circled on my form."
"Hmmm. Looks like I didn't have We Miss Artie circled on my form."

We Miss Artie, Coastline, and Harry's Holiday engaged in a three horse battle to the wire of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes with We Miss Artie nosing out Harry Holiday in the photo. The defeat for Harry's Holiday was especially bitter after the colt engaged in a contested pace with Solitary Ranger and Almost Famous through an opening quarter mile in a speedy 22.78. Harry's Holiday wore down his two speed rivals and took a short lead at the top of the lane. Coastline, a couple of lengths off the pace down the backstretch, engaged Harry's Holiday in mid-stretch but could never get by at any point in the stretch and had to settle for third. We Miss Artie, racing in the middle of the pack during much of the race, made a late move down the middle of the track to engage the leaders inside the final furlong and only edged out Harry's Holiday in his last strides to the wire.

We Miss Artie is a three-year-old colt by Artie Schiller out of a Fusaichi Pegasus mare (Athena's Gift), trained by Todd Pletcher, owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey, and ridden by John Velazquez. With his victory in the Spiral, We Miss Artie picks up 50 points towards a spot in the starting gate for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

We Miss Artie has three career races over dirt: second and beaten by 6 1/4 lengths in a 5f Maiden Special Weight at Belmont in his racing debut; seventh and beaten by 4 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita; and eighth, beaten 17 lengths in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.

While there are many that believe turf/synthetic horses can take to the Churchill Downs main track. the issue with We Miss Artie is that he's pretty clearly shown that he's not nearly as good on dirt as he is on non-dirt. He may run better on the Churchill dirt than the Gulfstream or Santa Anita main tracks, but is "better" going to be enough to win the Kentucky Derby?  We get to debate that question over the next month and a half.

Video Replay via Turfway Park's YouTube page:

Below are the results from the Spiral Stakes:

Horse Win Place Show
11-We Miss Artie $9.20 $5.80 $4.20
10-Harry's Holiday $13.40 $8.60
5-Coastline $7.40
Base Bet Combo Payout Pays to -
$1.00 Exacta 11/10 $130.20
$0.50 Trifecta 11/10/5 $310.90
$0.10 Superfecta 11/10/5/2 $595.25
$1.00 Double 7/11 $27.90
$0.50 Pick 3 7/7/11 $30.95 3-of-3
$0.50 Pick 4 5/2,7/7/11 $380.15 4-of-4
$0.50 Pick 5 2,3/5/2,7/7/11 $617.25 5-of-5
Distance Fractions Internal
1/4: 22.78 22.78
1/2: 47.21 24.43
3/4: 1:12.43 25.22
Mile: 1:38.59 26.16
Finish: 1:52.26 13.67