TORONTO, October 6, 2022 – Artie’s Storm’s late surge fell just short at Woodbine in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup on August 14.
On Saturday, a more timely descent could land Artie’s Storm in the winner’s circle when he faces eight other older rivals under the same terms in the Grade 3 $150,000 Durham Cup.
“He was flying on end,” said Buttigieg, who also races the gelding under the Buttigieg Training Centre banner. “Another jump, he wins it.”
Artie’s Storm has been the steadiest member of a volatile older male main track division racing around two turns this season, scoring over runner-up Frosted the Grade 2 Eclipse in his seasonal bow at 1 1/16 miles and following with a second-place finish behind that rival in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Dominion Day.
Following a ninth-place finish in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup over 7 furlongs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the son of We Miss Artie rediscovered his better stride during his unlucky most recent venture.
“He’s doing fantastic,” said Buttigieg. “He’s had seven weeks off now; he’s been on holiday all summer.”
David Moran, who has been in the irons for each of Artie’s Storm’s 14 career starts, again will do the honours.
War Bomber, a front-running winner at 18-1 in the Seagram Cup, returned to finish a faltering ninth of 11 in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and is back where he can do some damage on Saturday.
Owned by Bruno Schickedanz and conditioned by Norm McKnight, the gelding again will have Sahin Civaci in the irons.
Frosted Over, Canada’s champion male 3-year-old of 2021, ended fourth as the favourite in the Seagram Cup after failing to make much of an impression when debuting on turf in the 1 ¼-mile Niagara for Mark Casse.
The dark horse in the Durham Cup is Special Forces, who at age 7 is spotting three years to each of his rivals.
Beaten a nose in the 2019 running of the Durham Cup and victorious in the 2021 renewal, Special Forces had failed to make an impression when racing in this year’s Eclipse, Dominion Day and Seagram, but woke up with a solid victory at 1 1/16 miles when dropped in for a $50,000 tag.
“I had to drop him in class a bit, to kind of get him to break through,” said trainer Kevin Attard, who also is co-owner of the gelding along with Soli Mehta. “I guess maybe you could say he was slow to come around, a little bit.
“But I thought his last race was a good race for him. He was more keen in the race, from start to finish. It did good for his confidence. Hopefully we can build a little more momentum here, and get him in the right groove.”
Casse also will field Like the King and Who’s the Star in the Durham Cup.
Like the King became a stakes winner in Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks last year prior to running 12th in the Kentucky Derby for his former conditioner Wesley Ward.
The colt will be making his first start on the Tapeta surface after finishing a good third in the Niagara, which was won by 13-1 stablemate Who’s the Star.
Rounding out the field will be locally based Riptide Rock and Hombre plus the longshot shipper Irwin.
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Like the King – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
2 – Irwin – Antonio Gallardo – Philip Antonacci
3 – War Bomber – Sahin Civaci – Norm McKnight
4 – Frosted Over – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
5 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
6 – Riptide Rock – Justin Stein – Sid Attard
7 – Hombre – Declan Carroll – Roger Attfield
8 – Special Forces – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
9 – Who’s the Star – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
Bill Tallon, for Woodbine Communications