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OCEANPORT, NJ – Chances are, Chasing Artie won’t be available in a $15,000 claimer again any time soon.
The Wesley Ward-trained gelding, dropped into a $15,000 maiden claimer to start the year, improved to 3 for 3 in turf sprints and notched his second stakes win in 4 months, using a ground-saving trip to score a neck victory in Sunday’s $75,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park.
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Ridden by Albin Jimenez, who was filling in for injured scheduled rider Hector Diaz Jr., Chasing Artie sat off the flanks of the pace-setting Momos and then sped through an opening along the rail coming out of the turn in the 5 1/2-furlong turf dash.
He surged past Momos and then held off three late-runners to record his third victory in 6 career starts. Momos held for second, a length ahead of Arzak.
The winning time was 1:03.87 over a turf course listed as yielding. There were no early fractions recorded because of the “about” distance with the rail set at 12 feet.
“It was a good surprise to pick up this mount,” said Jimenez. “I was at home and I got a call from my agent, who said, `You’re riding Wesley Ward’s horse in the feature race.’ I said, `Great. Let’s get the money.’
“I was in great position chasing the speed. Wesley told me to break and just sit there. He said if I could get outside and find a lane it would be better. But I got a beautiful trip on the rail and it opened up for me coming out of the turn.”
Sent off as the favorite in the field of seven 3-year-olds, Chasing Artie returned $4.60 to win. The son of We Miss Artie-Frisky Kitten by Kitten’s Joy boosted his career earnings to $143,027 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
On April 2, he won the Palisades Turf Sprint at Keeneland. After racing just once at 2, and finishing seventh in a Maiden Special Weight race at Gulfstream, Ward dropped Chasing Artie into a $15,000 maiden claimer at Turfway to start his 2021 campaign. He finished second in that 6 1/2-furlong race, beaten a neck. He has won 3 of 4 since then.
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