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Beer-drinking pacer fav of Mohawk track crew

October 07, 2010

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Evidently, Art N Charm lives up to his name. He seems to have made an art of charming everyone around him. “He’s spoiled rotten,” owner/trainer Kathe Troy said. “Everybody at Mohawk loves him. He’s got more fans over there. He’ll drink beer with the boys and begs for candy. He’s a real ham.”
And of those four legs that moved fast enough to place Art N Charm fourth in his elimination for Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, one of them sounds like it is hollow.
“He likes the raspberry wheat ale,” Troy said. “Someone gave it to me because it was left over from a party and nobody would drink it. He guzzled it.”
Candy and beer haven’t been enough to weigh down Art N Charm, who has won five of 17 races and $68,271 this year. He was fourth in his Breeders Crown elim, behind One More Laugh, Rockin Image, and BG’s Folly. He was beaten by 3-1/2 lengths.
“He got out of the gate well,” driver John Campbell said. “He got away third and actually got jammed up around the last turn. He had some pace. He outraced his odds. He performed quite well.”
Troy bought Art N Charm as a yearling and he “has been my baby for three years.” Troy was born into the business, as her father was a trainer and driver. Her professional career started in real estate investments and sales jobs, but after a while the lure of the stable made her go against dad’s wishes.
“He never wanted me to be in the business,” Troy said. “But I came back to this.  I used to train two or three other horses but now I just have him.
“I wanted to get an Artsplace ever since I saw Artsplace race in the (1990) Breeders Crown at Pompano. If I don’t dig into my pockets now, I’d never have one. I liked him and the price was right. I paid $25,000 for him and it looks like he’s going to be worth it. He’s just a little guy, but he’s a happy little guy. He’s very sound.”
And he can make Troy and Campbell a happy trainer and driver with a big outing at Pocono Downs. He has already made the Mohawk Racetrack maintenance crew happy.
“He’s their favorite because when he wins, I bring them donuts the next day,” Troy said. “They watch him. He’s the only horse they know. Somebody’s got to buy them donuts (last Sunday). I think making the finals is almost as good as a win.”
As for winning this Saturday, it might be tough, but Campbell feels Art N Charm will provide a challenge.
“This is certainly a step up for him compared to what he’s been facing,” he said. “I was very happy with the way he raced. He showed quite a bit of pace on the end of it. He’s capable of going with these horses. I don’t know if he’s going to beat them, but he’s capable of going with them.”
Troy knows how much of a task her horse faces, and knows there is little more she can do at this point.
“The final is daunting, to say the least,” she said. “It’s all up to him now. It’s an honor to have John drive him.”
All she needs now is someone to keep him away from the beer and snacks the night before the race. (By Rob Fisher for Breeders Crown)
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