Artemis Agrotera shines in Frizette; Sweet Reason second following troubled start
By Jon Forbes | 10/05/2013 07:25 PM ET
Artemis Agrotera, making her second career start, held off odds-on favorite Sweet Reason by 1 ¼ lengths to win the 66th edition of the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Belmont Park.
A New York-bred owned by Chester and Mary Broman, Artemis Agrotera was away alertly and assumed the second position behind Tea Time as Grade 1 Spinaway winner Sweet Reason veered in sharply out of the gate.
Jose Lezcano worked Artemis Agrotera off the rail as she tracked Tea Time through fractions of 23.30 seconds for a quarter-mile, 47.41 for the half, and 1:11.81 for three-quarters. Artemis Agrotera poked her head in front at the three-sixteenths pole, promptly put away the tiring pacesetter, and was kept to task by Lezcano as Sweet Reason emerged from the back of the pack to offer a valiant but vain late bid.
"She broke good, put herself in position, and when I asked her, she took off and won the race," said Lezcano. "She acted very, very professional today. She did everything right in the gate and in the race, and did the job."
Artemis Agrotera, the 4-1 third choice in the field of seven, returned $10.60 for a $2 win wager and completed the distance in 1:36.25.
Her victory in the Frizette, a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In Race," earned Artemis Agrotera a berth in the Grade 1 Juvenile Fillies in November at Santa Anita Park, and was worth $300,000. She has earned $342,000 to date. In her only other start, Artemis Agrotera defeated New York-bred fillies by 11 ¾ lengths in a maiden special weight on August 16 at Saratoga Race Course.
"I saw [Sweet Reason] coming, but watching as many races as I have over this track, I knew at the sixteenth pole [Sweet Reason] had her work cut out for her and we were in good position," said winning trainer Mike Hushion, who confirmed that Artemis Agrotera will target the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The Breeders' Cup also remains a target for Sweet Reason, according to her trainer, Leah Gyarmati.
"It was a remarkable race," said Gyarmati. "Obviously, she didn't get a very good start. She's already a horse that's going to be back a little bit, so it cost us probably five, six lengths. She proved she could handle a fast track, she was six wide, and she spotted the field several lengths at the start, so I'm very impressed with her."
Stopchargmingmaria finished four lengths behind the winner in third and was followed home by Divided Attention, Ria Antonia, Tea Time, and Recepta.