LEXINGTON, KY – Bruce Lunsford homebred Art Collector extended his 2020 unbeaten streak with a brilliant, shining performance to win Saturday’s $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Breaking cleanly from post 3 as the co-2/1 favorite under Brian Hernandez, Jr., Art Collector sat just off the right hip of the rail-breaking Shivaree, who briefly dueled with Swiss Skydiver before letting the filly take a slight lead on the backstretch.
Still sitting perfectly in the catbird seat as he rounded the far turn, Art Collector made his bid along with Rushie to his outside. At the top of the stretch, Swiss Skydiver fought back hard along the rail, but Art Collector began pulling away at the 1/8 pole.
The Tom Drury, Jr., trainee won going away by 3 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:48.11 for the 1 1/8-mile fast main track route.
Though no match for the winner, Swiss Skydiver proved better than every other male counterpart, taking second by 4 3/4 lengths. A three-way photo for third went to Rushie by a neck and a head over Enforceable and Attachment Rate, respectively.
Mr. Big News, Finnick the Fierce, Tiesto, Hard Lighting, Basin, Shivaree, Hunt the Front, and Man in the Can completed the order of finish.
The Blue Grass is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Art Collector earned 100 points for the win, with Swiss Skydiver receiving 40 for second, Rushie 20 for third, and Enforceable 10 for fourth.
Art Collector’s win was his third straight since transferring to his current barn and came in his dirt stakes debut (he was seventh in last October’s Dixiana Bourbon Stakes [G3] over the local lawn). The 3-year-old Bernardini colt improved his record to 8-4-1-0 with $548,475 earned.
Art Collector returned $6.60 to win, $4 to place, and $3.20 to show. Swiss Skydiver brought back $4.20 to place and $3.40 to show, while Rushie paid $4 to show.