Grade II Winner Art Collector Tops Friday's $110,000 Kelly's Landing

Jun 20, 2021 Kevin Kerstein,Churchill Downs Communications

Bruce Lunsford’s Blue Grass (GII) stakes winning-homebred Art Collector leads a field of nine colts and geldings that were entered in Friday’s $110,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs – the penultimate card of the 38-day Spring Meet.

The seven-furlong Kelly’s Landing was carded as Race 10 with a post time of 5:26 p.m. The 11-race program begins at 12:45 p.m.

Art Collector, a now 4-year-old son of Bernardini, is slated to make his seasonal debut in Friday’s race following more than seven months away from the races. Trained by Tommy Drury Jr., Art Collector has been regularly training with Drury’s string of horses at Churchill Downs and will once again be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr.

“We’ve done everything we can right now for his first race back,” Drury said. “He worked a really good half-mile (Saturday in :47.40). He’s ready to go and we’re excited to get him back to the races.”

Art Collector was the early Kentucky Derby (GI) favorite in 2020 following his 3 ½-length Blue Grass (GII) win and 3 ¼-length score in the Ellis Park Derby. Drury and Lunsford had to scratch Art Collector the day of the Derby post position draw because a minor foot issue developed. He returned to run in the Preakness Stakes (GI) but finished fourth after tracking the early pace. Art Collector closed his 3-year-old campaign with an eighth-place effort in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile (GI).

The five-time winner drew post No. 9 in the Kelly’s Landing.

Another accomplished colt entered in the Kelly’s Landing is Tamaroak Partners’ six-time winning homebred Bango. The Greg Foley-trained son of Congrats held off fellow Kelly’s Landing rival Long Range Toddy in the $150,000 Aristides (Listed) in his last start. Bango has recorded five of his six lifetime victories beneath the Twin Spires. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount from post 6.

The complete Kelly’s Landing field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Mucho (Gabriel Saez, John Ortiz); Strike Power (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Bourbon Calling (Julien Leparoux, Ian Wilkes); Long Range Toddy (Jon Court, Dallas Stewart); Home Base (Manny Esquivel, Cipriano Contreras); Bango (Gaffalione, Foley); Aloha West (Florent Geroux, Wayne Catalano); Relentless Dancer (Martin Garcia, Mike Maker); and Art Collector (Hernandez, Drury).

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