Art Professor made headlines last month when he halted the unbeaten streak of St Elmo Hero in an Open Pace at Woodbine Racetrack. He followed that performance with a life's best 1:50 victory in the same class last week at the suburban Toronto raceway
The next start for the four-year-old will be at Western Fair Raceway next Friday night (May 20), for eliminations for the track’s signature race, the Molson Pace, where he’ll be vying for a spot in the $300,000 (est.) final the following Friday.
“We gave $200,000 for this horse last year at Harrisburg. We were looking for a good quality racehorse for the winter without a lot of wear and tear and he fit the bill,” Art Professor’s trainer, Ben Wallace, said recently.
“He’s proven to be a real professional racehorse, each time he steps on the racetrack he’s going to give you an honest effort and that’s all you can ask for. He’s a big, handsome stud horse that can be a son of a gun when you’re jogging him, but on the track he’s a professional and in the barn you’d never know he was there, a real gentleman.
“His former trainer, Steve Elliott, told me he was a gorilla on Yonkers' half-mile track (where he won a New York Sire Stakes event last July by three lengths in 1:53.4), so we’ll see how he does at Western Fair. Post position at that track is the great equalizer.
“He’ll be in deep in London and Western Fair is a lot different from Yonkers, so we’ll see how he makes out. Hopefully he’ll draw well,” said Wallace, who captured the 1996 Molson Pace with Hogans Heroes.
Owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. and Holland Racing Stable of Aurora, Ont., Art Professor is a son of Art Major that sold for $100,000 as a yearling. He raced at two and three for Elliott before being sold early last November to his current connections.
Art Professor heads into next Friday’s Molson Pace eliminations with a seasonal record of 6-1-4 from 15 starts for $143,750 in earnings. He’s made $320,807 lifetime.
“We decided not to race him this week and wait for the Molson Pace eliminations. That gives him 13 days off rather than just six. He’s a horse that doesn’t need a lot of work. Mark (driver Mark MacDonald) said in his last race he was better at the wire than anywhere in the race and that’s saying something given he won in 1:50.”
Note that Western Fair will be offering a ‘super charged’ $10,000 guaranteed pool on the late Win-4 on Molson Pace final night. The race sponsor, Molson, is also stepping up to make it bigger and better than previous years. On-track festivities include a complimentary Molson gift for the first 500 fans with a program coupon. The Molson Extreme Team will be on hand giving out prizes, as well as the Molson Beer Tent and trackside barbecue, and the signature prime rib buffet in the dining room.