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Artspeak's freshman season comes to end

October 31, 2014

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Multiple-stakes-winner Artspeak, the No. 7-ranked horse in harness racing's Top 10 poll, is finished racing this year.
Trainer Tony Alagna said Friday the 2-year-old male pacer would begin his offseason now in preparation for his 3-year-old campaign rather than continue racing through November. Artspeak was eligible to the Matron Stakes and Breeders Crown.

Artspeak won eight of 10 races and earned $742,185, a purse total that leads all 2-year-old pacers so far this year. His victories included the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in July, Metro Pace in August and Governor's Cup last weekend. He also captured divisions of the Bluegrass and Nassagaweya stakes.

"It's such a long year for all of them,” Alagna said. "We raced him 10 starts, which is what we like to do if possible. To keep him up another month to race in the Breeders Crown, we just made the decision as a group that we'd rather spend the extra days turned out in Lexington letting him grow up and get ready for next year.

"We try to be a little on the conservative side at (age) two so that we have a great 3 year old. Captaintreacherous didn't win the Breeders Crown at two and it certainly didn't affect his career.”

Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners.

"The horse came out of the (Governor's Cup) in great shape,” Alagna said. "It's not a matter of that, it's a matter of thinking about his 3-year-old year and how many times do you go to the well at two if you want to come back and race a hard campaign at three. I've always been up front whenever one of my horses has an issue, and this horse has no issues. We put him away on a great note.”

Seven of Artspeak's eight victories came by a minimum of 1 1/2 lengths.

"He's got heart,” Artspeak's driver Scott Zeron said earlier this year. "That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself.” (HRC)

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