Day At The Track

Art Official upsets in Meadowlands Pace (vid)

03:54 AM 20 Jul 2008 NZST
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Ron Pierce with Meadowlands Pace Trophy Art Official beating Somebeachsomewhere
Ron Pierce with Meadowlands Pace Trophy - Driver of Art Official - 2008 Meadowlands Pace winner
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc.
Art Official beating Somebeachsomewhere - In the Meadowlands Pace in a 3yo world record 1:47
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc.

Art Official snapped Somebeachsomewhere's undefeated streak in world record fashion with a 1:47 victory in the $1.1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Pierce and Art Official took command at the quarter and dueled with Bullville Powerful down the backstretch, leaving Somebeachsomewhere three-wide as he pressed to the lead in a 51.4 half.

Pierce and Art Official drafted behind the 1-9 favorite as he reached the three-quarter pole in 1:19 before popping out of the pocket and surging past for a neck victory.

Art Official's 1:47 clocking was the fastest race mile in history for a 3-year-old pacer and the second fastest mile of all time. Holborn Hanover holds the 1:46.4 record. "I didn't decide until the gate to let him loose," Pierce said.

"I didn't want Somebeachsomewhere to get away and someone had to take it to him. It was up to me and Yannick [Gingras and Bullville Powerful].

"I felt confident in the stretch. My horse was crossed over at the 5/8-pole and I had to take him up and sit in the two-hole. He swelled back up. I tipped him and he started pacing hard. The question was then to catch Somebeachsomewhere.

"I feel mixed emotions because he is a great colt," Pierce said of handing Somebeachsomewhere his first defeat, "but I had to do my job and the value of my colt just skyrocketed."

Art Official has now won six of 27 lifetime starts for trainer Joe Seekman and Sawgrass Farms of Lockport, Illinois.

The $550,000 winner's share of the purse boosted his career earnings to $1,000,883.

Somebeachsomewhere's streak ended at 10 races, in what was perhaps the biggest upset in Meadowlands Pace history."I took my shot at the half," said his driver, Paul MacDonell.

"I thought those two horses where chewed up at the half after 51 [seconds] and a piece. Unfortunately, Yannick [Gingras and Bullville Powerful] never cleared and left me out there a little longer than I wanted to be, but the horse still battled gamely until the end.

"I've got to give Art Official all the credit in the world. He parked horses past the half in 51 and change and was still around at the wire to live and tell about it. I still had a lot of horse. I figured he'd get me to the wire in a pretty remarkable time and he did and got caught right at the end. I give him and Art Official all the credit."


Came straight to this page? You might also be interested in reading Carol Hodes' write up of the 2008 Meadowlands Pace entitled - With an artful drive, Art Official upsets.


Art Official - 2008 Meadowlands Pace



Meadowlands Media Department

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