Art It Is and driver Brandon Bates turned in a stellar performance Thursday, July 14 in the first round of Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The gelding earned the fastest time of the two divisions, stopping the timer in 1:51.2.
Art It Is came into the race off a win in his first career start in 1:56.0. The Tellitlikeitis gelding stepped up to face a good group of youngsters and drew the extreme outside post for the journey. Bates was ready when the gate folded and Art It Is zoomed to the lead to set the first fraction in :27.1. Hetolditlikeitwas and John DeLong didn’t find a seat along the inside early and moved onto the lead at the half in :56.0. Art It Is sat right on the back of Hetolditlikeitwas through the three-quarters in 1:24.3 before tipping to the outside for the drive home.
In the stretch, Hetolditlikeitwas wasn’t going away easy, and Art It Is had to dig a little deeper to get even with him. But once he did, he began to pull away, winning by one and one-quarter lengths, pacing his final quarter in :26.2. Dustin Theothers and Jimmy Whittemore finished third.
Art It Is paid $12.00 for the win. He is owned by Dolne Farm Services, Therese DeFabis and Mark P’Pool. P’Pool also trains the talented gelding, who is out of the tough race mare JNB N Me, who was campaigned by Brooke Nickells during her career that earned her a mark of 1:54.0 and more than $185,000 in earnings. She is a 100 percent producer as a brood mare with all six of her foals of racing age taking marks. Her quickest is the Always a Virgin gelding Forevernalways, who is still racing and has a mark of 1:50.2. Legacy Acres bred Art It Is, who was purchased from the Blooded Horse Sale in Ohio last November for $10,500. He’s already paid for himself by winning the first round of the Indiana Sires Stakes worth $69,500.
The other division of Indiana Sires Stakes was won by Buzzsaw Russ and John DeLong. Trained by Missy Essig, the Rockin Image gelding got away near the back of the pack and was flushed to the outside at the half in :57.1. Buzzsaw Russ continued to hold his own on the outside at the three-quarters in 1:26.4 before hitting another gear in the stretch, pacing home in a brisk :25.1 for the win in 1:53.0, one and one-half lengths ahead of Why Not Now and Peter Wrenn, who also paced home under :26 seconds. Bible Thumper, the race leader into the stretch driven by Daryl Bontrager, finished third.
Buzzsaw Russ was making his first career start, paying $9.20 for the win. He is owned by Russell Beeman and Charles Weaver. Devon Beechy and Devon Knepp are the breeders on the gelding, who was the highest priced yearling at auction last year by Rockin Image, bringing $52,000 at the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale. He was purchased under the name Cruiser’s Image and is the first foal out of the standout mare Up Front Cruiser, who earned nearly a half-million during her racing career with a mark of 1:50.0.