In the days leading up to the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 26, usracing.com is publishing profiles of the starters in the world’s richest horse race. Profiles will be updated with odds, post positions and jockeys several days before the race.
By Margaret Ransom
2022 Saudi Cup Horse Profile: Art Collector
This Bruce Lunsford homebred was a top 3-year-old in 2021 heading into the Kentucky Derby (G1) after winning the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland for trainer Tommy Drury Jr., but a foot injury kept him from running. He did make the Preakness (G1), where he was fourth, then won the Ellis Park Derby, before closing out his sophomore season with a poor showing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
A seven-month layoff and one more start for Drury produced a poor sixth-place finish in the Kelly’s Landing Downs last June, then the colt was moved to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, where the winning resumed – the Alydar Stakes, Charles Town Classic (G3), Woodward (G1) before ending his 4-year-old season with a disappointing finish in the BC Classic (G1) at Del Mar.
The Saudi Cup will be Art Collector’s first start since the Breeders’ Cup, but he’s had a string of good works ay Mott’s winter base of Payson Park, including a bullet half-mile in :50 1/5 a week ago, and shipped into King Abdulaziz Racetrack a few days ago in good shape.
There appears to be a lot of speed in this race, so this horse may sit a little off the pace in the early going. He has the pedigree for this distance and is in capable hands and with his last race, coupled with the extended break, may offer good value in any exotics picture.
Post position: 9
Odds: 8-1 (BUSR.com odds)
Jockey: Mike Smith
Trainer: Bill Mott
Owner: Bruce Lunsford
Career record: 18-8-1-0
Career earnings: $1,655,305
Top Equibase speed figure: 121
Pedigree: Bernardini-Distorted Legacy, by Distorted Humor
Running style: Frontrunner/stalker
Notes: Mott also managed the career of Art Collector’s granddam, Bunting (by Private Account), who was also owned by Lunsford … his dam, stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Distorted Legacy, is a multiple stakes winner and last year had a filly from the first crop of Triple Crown winner Justify.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law in Kentucky known as the “Borell Law.”Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time.She lives in Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.