Although some people thought Art Collector’s best days were behind him, the 6-year old proved his detractors wrong with a decisive 4 1/2 length victory in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup. Art Collector’s last race was the G2 Lukas Classic last October where he finished 5th. Defunded finished second and pace setter Stiletto Boy finished third. The favorite, Cyberknife, finished a disappointing sixth.
During his three year old season, Art Collector was one of the most highly ranked of his contemporaries, but his racing career appears to have been derailed by Covid when the Triple Crown races were held out of order and the Belmont Stakes was shortened.A
Although Art Collector lost the luster of his early publicity, he’s continued racing and winning at a high level, winning 11 out of 21 starts. Throughout this time (and when his contemporaries have all been retired) he’s stayed in training, stayed sound, and kept his level of ability, turning in a career best for his debut race as a 6 year old.
Now trained by Bill Mott, Art Collector was ridden (for the first time) by Junior Alvarez in the Pegasus. The trainer told Alvarez to ride him a bit differently, rating the colt early and then letting him rally at the end.
“The horse liked what (Alvarado) did with him, that he was allowed to settle and breathe and save energy,” Mott said. “It’s all about saving energy. He had something left turning for home.”
Art Collector will stand at Claiborne Farm at the conclusion of his career, but owner and breeder Bruce Lunsford and trainer Bill Mott indicated the multiple graded stakes winner would likely continue to race in 2023.