Day At The Track

Artistic Fella smashes world record

11:44 PM 15 Jun 2008 NZST
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Artistic Fella
Artistic Fella - 1:48 clocking is the fastest ever on a five-eighths mile
World Wide Racing Photos

Joseph Alborano’s Artistic Fella, with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, unleashed a powerful performance to capture the $500,000 final of the Ben Franklin pace in the world record time of 1:48 at Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack on Sunday, June 15 .

Artistic Fella, a five-year-old son of Pacific Fella trained by Steve Elliott, was taken immediately to the rail at the start as Mr Feelgood (Andy Miller) and Special Report (Larry Stalbaum) took turns on the lead in an opening quarter of 26.3.

As the field left the first turn and straightened out through the stretch for the first time, Artistic Fella was angled to the outside and brushed up to take the lead just before the midway point of the mile which was timed in 53.3.

Once on top, Artistic Fella was kept to the task, passing the three panel mark in a blistering 1:20.4 as his arch rival, Mister Big (Brian Sears), desperately tried to gain ground while racing first over.

On the final turn, it was apparent that Artistic Fella was not going to entertain any challenges and began to widen his advantage as Mister Big’s rally stalled on the outside.

Through the final stretch, Artistic Fella responded to Tetrick’s handling and crossed the wire three and one-quarter lengths in front of Mr Big, who gallantly battled to the finish and earned the place spot. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Mr Feelgood, who managed to hold on for third.

Tetrick offered some thoughts on his winning strategy.

“I let him (Artistic Fella) open up going down the backstretch because I wanted to make Mister Big work hard if he was going to gain ground. I didn’t want to let Mister Big be head and head with us going into the last turn if I could help it. It’s always hard to be first up.”

Tetrick not only had high praise for Artistic Fella, but for the breed as a whole.

“These animals are amazing,” Tetrick said. “They don’t get enough credit. This breed has come a long way, even from only five years ago.”

Brian Sears, the driver of Mister Big, was proud of his horse’s performance.

“He raced good. Whenever you have the outside post on a small track, you’re at a disadvantage, and having the seven post didn’t help.”

Sears added that he thought Artistic Fella was superb and that he certainly earned his place in the record books.

Artistic Fella’s 1:48 clocking is the fastest ever on a five-eighths mile oval, and it erases the world record of 1:48.1 set by Mister Big in an elimination for the Ben Franklin at Chester last Sunday.

The $250,000 winner’s share of the Ben Franklin final pushes Artistic Fella’s lifetime earnings to $2,089,355.

By Don Bielak for Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack

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