Diane Bertrand was always a fan of racehorse Outrageous Art, both when she owned him and after she sold him. Now five years after parting with the pacer, she once again holds the papers along with business partner Karen Sobey, and will stand the speedster as a stallion this season.
Outrageous Art was almost the proverbial "one that got away". Bertrand noted that she was part of the original ownership on the son of Artsplace - Righteous Renee when he started his racehorse career for trainer Mark Steacy, who paid $50,000 for the yearling in 2008.
"I was offered a quarter of him, and I was very excited to be a part of that horse," Bertrand told Trot Insider. "He trained down very well and unfortunately got hurt as a two-year-old. So we missed all his two-year-old stakes races; he was paid up to everything and just got hurt."
Outrageous Art raced under the tutelage of Steacy through his five-year-old year when the connections decided to sell.
"We had the opportunity to buy out the other shareholders and bring him to Alberta but the Alberta industry wasn't looking real good, so we ended up selling him."
The pacer was entered in the 2013 January Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands. With $228,845 banked through three seasons, Outrageous Art would show no signs of slowing down at age six with his best season to date: winning 14 starts, banking more than $165,000 and taking his lifetime mark of 1:49.3f at Pocono.
All the while, Bertrand kept her eye on Outrageous Art while also purchasing other horses from that family -- very strong on the maternal side -- purchasing a three-quarter sister to his dam, No More Loving as well as her Roll With Joe filly No Mo Fo Joe along with other family members Lindwood Beachgirl and Who Said Not To. Little did Bertrand know that she'd also have a crack at Outrageous Art.
"I kept talking about this Outrageous Art and how good he was and how I missed the boat on him," said Bertrand. "My partner ended up calling the owner and asked if he would sell him and that's exactly what took place. We got him shipped out here to Alberta [in December 2017], we tried to race him a couple of times but the main purpose was for him to stand stud in Alberta and bring that Artsplace bloodline back."
Alberta's harness racing industry was rocked by the passing of stallion Blue Burner in early March. Blue Burner's sire is Grinfromeartoear, a son of Artsplace.
"It was really unfortunate. I bred all my mares to Blue Burner for several years," noted Bertrand. "I was really high on him as a stallion and it was really sad when he passed away."
A longtime owner and the Chair of Standardbred Canada's Breeders Committee, Bertrand now finds herself connected to stallions in both Alberta and Ontario.
"This is the only stallion I'm in on in Alberta, I was one of the original owners of Sunshine Beach," said Bertrand. "It gets you more interested in the breeding side and the bloodlines. And I love the breeding and racing in Ontario, but I'm born and raised in Alberta and want to support the industry here."
"Outrageous Art is a very good-looking and well-conformed horse that has a great gait and was very smart and easy to drive," said trainer Mark Steacy. "Because of a paddock injury at two he didn't begin his racing career until three; I'm sure he would have more lifetime money earned as he raced in high classes throughout his career."
A winner of races in eight straight seasons, Outrageous Art retires with a summary of 51-23-14 from 192 starts with earnings of $638,868. He'll stand stud at Moore Equine located in Okotoks, Alta. (just south of Calgary) for a stud fee of $1,000.
"Everything he did, he did it the hard way...racing in overnights," noted Bertrand. "He's just tough. He looks really good, he has been tested and his fertility count is very good and we're really excited."