Longines Classic Division
TrainerWilliam I. Mott
BreederW. Bruce Lunsford
Art Collector returns to Breeders’ Cup World Championships after finishing a disappointing eighth in last year’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). He is currently on a three-race winning streak capped by the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park Oct. 2 to remain perfect for trainer Bill Mott, a 10-time Breeders’ Cup race winner. Art Collector was transferred to Mott after spending the middle part of his career with Tom Drury Jr.
“The fact that I was in New York and he was in Kentucky, I think that’s why (owner-breeder Bruce Lunsford) wanted him here,” Mott said. “He (Drury) did a great job with this horse and we’re reaping some of the benefits. I would say he beat the best group of horses (in the Woodward) that he’s beaten so far. They were the most established group.”
Following his 2-year-old season, Art Collector was sent to Drury who specializes in preparing runners for others. Art Collector was scheduled to transfer to a track-based trainer, but the plan was delayed when racing came to a near standstill in 2020 because of the pandemic. As Art Collector neared his return, Lunsford opted to keep him with Drury. The colt gave Drury his first stakes victory when he captured the 2020 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. He then won the Runhappy Ellis Park Derby (Listed). Those triumphs made Art Collector an early favorite for that year’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), but he was not entered. Five days before the race, Art Collector incurred a minor injury when he stepped on himself while galloping. He rebounded to be fourth as the second choice in the Preakness Stakes (G1) a month later.
Lunsford is a successful businessman, major player in Kentucky politics and prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder. He raced Art Collector’s dam (Distorted Legacy) and his maternal granddam (Bunting).
- October 12, 2021
Benefiting from Grade 1 victories in the Belmont Stakes and the Runhappy Travers Stakes, Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality has finished No. 1 in the final voting of the 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
- October 4, 2021
Running true to his odds as the 1.70-1 favorite, Jack Christopher captured the $500,000, Grade 1 Champagne Stakes Oct. 2 at Belmont Park by 2 ¾ lengths over Commandperformance.