Oak Bluff Stables’ Therapist sat well off the pace and displayed a devastating turn-of-foot down the lane to secure a neck victory in scoring his eighth stakes victory in Saturday’s sixth running of the $100,000 Artie Schiller going one mile over the good inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Never worse than fourth in his last dozen starts, the New York-bred 5-year-old son of Freud notched his sixth stakes win versus open company, scoring at such caliber in each of his years in training, dating back to his 2-year-old year in 2017, where he won the Laurel Futurity at Laurel Park and the Awad at Belmont Park.
In the money in all five of his starts this campaign, Therapist arrived at the Artie Schiller off a runner-up effort to graded stakes winner Somelikeithotbrown in the Mohawk on Oct. 24, part of Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 8 under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, Therapist was angled to the two-path at the back of the pack as New York-bred multiple restricted stakes winner Rinaldi led the field into the first turn through an opening quarter-mile in 24.43 seconds and the half in 48.50, with Grade 1-winner Valid Point tracking in second.
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Castellano nudged his charge around the far turn racing five lengths behind Rinaldi, who kept his advantage as the field hit the top of the stretch.
Castellano angled Therapist four wide and found a seam in between runners and started making up significant ground. Rinaldi was then confronted by Chad Brown trainees Valid Point and Delaware in the final sixteenth, but Therapist’s turn of foot was too good for them as he was first on the wire in the nick of time, stopping the clock in 1:37.16. Valid Point finished second, a head in front of Delaware.
Rounding out the field were Rinaldi, Clear Vision, Ninety One Assault, Hawkish and Ballagh Rocks.
Hembree and main track only entrants Backsideofthemoon, Sea Foam, Chilly In Charge and Compound It were scratched.
Returning $8.30 as the lukewarm favorite, Therapist upped his lifetime earnings to $653,345 through a record of 21-9-2-5, having won at five different tracks.
Trainer Christophe Clement, who also bred Therapist in partnership with the owner, expressed a strong sense of pride in conditioning such a consistent state-bred.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at the Big A with a 10-race card highlighted by the $100,000 Winter Memories for 3-year-old fillies in Race 9 at 3:47 p.m. Eastern and the $100,00 Key Cents for New York-bred juvenile fillies going six furlongs in Race 2 at 12:22 p.m. First post is 11:50 a.m.
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