Day At The Track

Artistic Fella retired from racing

01:44 AM 19 Feb 2009 NZDT
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Artistic Fella Joseph Alborano with Artistic Fella Artistic Fella - Meadowlands Pace
Artistic Fella - gets a bath from Caretaker Sarah Scott
Photo by Ken Weingartner for Breeders Crown
Joseph Alborano with Artistic Fella
Harnesslink Photo
Artistic Fella - Meadowlands Pace - 2006 Meadowlands Pace Final
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc.

Two-time millionaire Artistic Fella, winner of the 2006 Meadowlands Pace and 2007 Breeders Crown for older horses, has been retired from racing and will head next to a breeding career. Artistic Fella will retire with earnings of $2,604,855 and a lifetime mark of 1:48f, a world record."He hasn't had any easy races from his 3-year-old year to the end of last year," said owner Joseph Alborano.

"I didn't want to take any chances with him. It hurts me to have to retire him. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. I never thought I would get a good one like him."

Artistic Fella was not the easiest horse to race. He suffered issues related to his blood and dehydration that required constant monitoring and therapy, which prompted his retirement.

A son of Pacific Fella and the Artsplace mare Everything's Easy, Artistic Fella competed four seasons on the track, lowering his mark every year that he raced. He won three of four races at age 2 before capturing 11 of 18 races at age 3. In addition to the Meadowlands Pace, he also captured the 2007 Berry's Creek and a division of the Oliver Wendall Holmes, while reeling off 10 wins in a row.

Although other top sophomores would have headed to the breeding shed, Artistic Fella went back to the races for trainer Steve Elliott, winning seven of 16 races at 4. As a 5-year-old , his five wins in 14 races included the Classic Series final and Ben Franklin in a 1:48 world record at Harrah's Chester.

Of his 26 lifetime victories, 12 were sub-1:50 and, of those, seven were sub-1:49. He ended his career with earnings of $2,604,855.

Alborano came under fire from fans in 2006 for not supplementing Artistic Fella to the Cane Pace, where a victory would have allowed the connections to supplement to the Little Brown Jug.

"The horse doesn't owe me anything," said Alborano. "He has done things for us and racing and the public. We brought him back at 4 and 5-the game would be better if everyone did with their world champions and gave the horses a chance to race. The public enjoys these world champions.

"I believe Lis Mara, Mister Big and Artistic Fella are the best horses of the last 20 years. They were very durable and deserve all the respect for coming back year after year."

Artistic Fella is spending his winter in Florida with Elliott while Alborano works on finalizing a stallion deal.

"Steve and I will talk, and try to give the horse the best opportunity," said Alborano. "It's more about doing the right thing for him and the money will come after. Whether he becomes a great stallion is irrelevant. I just want to do right by the horse."

by Nicole KRAFT, communications director, USTA

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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