Trainer George “Buzzy” Sholty has two shots to fire in the $500,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic on Saturday night at the Meadowlands.
He looks for the biggest win of his career with the duo of Artist’s View and Art At Heart. Coupled in the wagering, the duo is rated at 5-1 on the morning line. Artist’s View will start from post 10, while Art At Heart has drawn post eight.
“I still don’t know which one is better,” said Sholty, 42, who resides in Lexington, Ky.
Artist’s View was a $30,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale by William Rufenacht of Archbold, Ohio and Dean Miller’s DM Stables of Naples, Fla. The son of Artsplace-Lady Ashlee Ann is a half brother to Ashlee’s Big Guy, a winner of 28 races and $950,000 lifetime.
Artist’s View raced just twice as a freshman. He won his career debut, a New Jersey Sire Stakes leg, in 1:55.1 on June 21, 2006 at the Meadowlands. In his next--and final–start of the season, he broke stride and was placed last in the Sire Stakes final.
“Last year, Artist’s View was not staked to anything but the New Jersey Sire Stakes,” Sholty said. “He opened his knees, so we stopped with him and brought him back fresh this year. He also had breathing issues at two. We switched him from a black bar bit and he can get his air a lot better now. He also had surgery on this throat.
“We tried him in the earlier stakes, but we knew he was much better than a check-getter,” he added.
Sholty brought Artist’s View back to the racetrack in January 2007 and the colt captured his sophomore debut in 1:53.4. He won a preliminary leg and the $90,400 final of the Junior Trendsetter Series in February, then received two months off. He returned for the Berry’s Creek and was fifth in his elimination, but was not entered for the final. After a 1:52.4 win in a New Jersey Sire Stakes leg, Artist’s View came first up to finish third in his elimination race for the New Jersey Classic.
"Artist’s View has speed,” said the colt’s driver, Daniel Dube. “I was told the first time I drove him to be careful with him, not to hit him, be conservative. I know he used to make some breaks, but I didn't see any problem. He won (the NJSS) easier than the line shows. I think he's going to get better and better."
With 17 starts under his belt, Art At Heart is considerably more seasoned than his stablemate. Although he finished on the board just once in 11 starts at two, he has been more consistent this season, posting two wins and a second in six starts and only missing a check once. He won a leg of the Matt’s Scooter Series and just missed catching Spin Rate at the wire in the $101,300 final. After a seven-week breather, the son of Artsplace paced to a career-best 1:51.2 in a New Jersey Sire Stakes division on May 19.
"Art At Heart felt strong once he made the top (in the Sire Stakes),” said his driver, Andy Miller. “He kept going. This is one nice colt. I think he likes it on the front, too. He was good early on in the Matt’s Scooter Series. They gave him some time off and he seems to have benefited from it.”
Art At Heart finished fourth after cutting the mile in his New Jersey Classic elimination.
“We’ll change his rigging for next week,” Sholty said after the elim. “He was too aggressive and undriveable. He also had trouble breathing at two. Artist’s View had the surgery, but we were able to make some adjustments on Art At Heart without the surgery.”
Art At Heart was a $62,000 yearling purchase at the Harrisburg Sale by Sholty, Dean Miller and Winbak Farm.
Sholty is the son of the late Hall of Fame horseman George Sholty. He took a hiatus from the sport from 1994 to 2001 in order to spend time with his son, Morgan. In addition to helping his father with his stable, he sold cars and worked at a Toyota manufacturing facility. Sholty returned to racing when his father became ill, and he took over the stable after his passing. What started out as only a six-horse barn has blossomed steadily over the past six years.
“Growing up in a harness racing family, I never lived in one place for more than six months at a time until I was 29 years old,” he said in a previous Meadowlands interview. “My dad was a good provider and a good father, but one year he was only home for 49 nights. I didn't want that kind of life for my son. I wanted to wait for him to understand why I would be gone so much before I got back into the horse business. His mother and I were never married, and we have joint custody. I try to spend as much time with him as I can."
$500,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic draw:
HD PP Horse (driver)
1 4 Yankee Skyscaper (G. Brennan)
1A 5 Kinetic Yankee (A. Miller)
2 8 Artist's View (D. Dube)
2A 10 Art At Heart (T. Tetrick)
3 1 Always A Virgin (B. Sears)
4 2 Red Hot Yankee (J. Morrill Jr.)
5 3 Artriverderci (R. Pierce)
6 6 Fresh Deck (J. Campbell)
7 7 Watta Hotshot (M. Lachance)
8 9 Radio City (Y. Gingras)