Day At The Track

Artbitration & Tom Klosky, Jr. a love affair

04:27 AM 29 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Artbitration winning a 2005 Cape & Cutter Leg
Lisa Photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 28, 2018 -- When Tom Klosky, Jr. retired his great harness racing mare Artbitration with earnings exceeding $727,000, he could have sold her as a broodmare prospect and banked even more. Instead, Klosky kept the daughter of Artiscape-Serious Smile, bred her seven times and retained all those foals as well.

"If I sold her and tried to buy a foal out of her," Klosky says, "I knew I couldn't afford it. I figured my best chance was to breed her."

A pair of those offspring will compete Saturday at The Meadows. Dew A Little Dance goes from the rail in race 4 with Jim Pantaleano driving while Its A Dew Thing leaves from post 3 in race 12 for Chris Shaw. Both are trained by Norm Parker, who has conditioned all Artbitration's offspring and originally owned a piece of her. First post is 1:05 PM.

In her racing career, Artbitration regularly took on such stars as freshman champion Kikikatie and 2004 Horse Of The Year Rainbow Blue. She did more than hold her own, winning the Lynch at 3.

"We had set her entire 3-year-old campaign around the Fan Hanover, the Jugette and the Lexington stakes," Klosky recalls. "She had a fever for three weeks and missed all of them. She did come back and finish second in the Cinderella."

Although Klosky grew up near The Meadows and still resides close by in Canonsburg, he first visited the track as an adult and bought into his initial horse with trainer Dwane Parker, Norm's dad, in 1990.

"She won her first race and never won again. But with that one win, it sank right in: This actually is pretty cool."

Artbitration's production record is mixed. All five of her foals of racing age made it to the races and took marks. Her 2011 foal, Dew N Doughnuts, has earned nearly $425,000, though he's currently on the shelf with wear-and-tear-type injuries. The others have been less successful.

One thing they have in common is the syllable Dew in their names.

"That comes from her caretaker, Terry Brewer. When Terry traveled with Artbitration, he would load up on doughnuts and Mountain Dew. Artbitration would throw a fit because she wanted some of that Mountain Dew. So we try to put Dew in the names."

For Klosky, a computer specialist with a company that operates parking lots at Pittsburgh International Airport, the experience as breeder/owner has been risky and expensive. He doesn't own acreage, so he must pay to board Artbitration and her foals. He doesn't own stallion shares, so he pays full retail value for service fees.

But Klosky's relationship with Artbitration is a harness racing love affair, the sort that keeps the sport going. And Klosky will keep that relationship going, as he has two daughters of Artbitration -- an Artspeak yearling and an A Rocknroll Dance weanling -- that he'll send to Norm Parker.

"It's been a costly endeavor," he allows, "but I would do it all over again. Artbitration has never let me down."

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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