Bruce Lunsford’s GII Toyota Blue Grass S. winner Art Collector (Bernardini) returned to trainer Tom Drury’s Skylight Training Center base in Goshen, Kentucky Saturday night and options for the colt’s next start are still open.
“I am going to get with Bruce in the next couple of days and figure out what we will do,” Drury said. “Art Collector will stay at Skylight for a little while because it is quieter there and then like we have done before, two weeks or so before he runs we will bring him back to Churchill.”
With the Blue Grass victory, Art Collector picked up 100 qualifying points toward the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby, good for fourth place on the Derby leader board with only six points races remaining.
“If we do anything [before the Derby], it likely would be Ellis [the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 9],” Drury said.
Art Collector gave Drury his first graded stakes victory with his authoritative score at Keeneland Saturday, but the trainer didn’t have much time to celebrate.
“It was a pretty special day,” Drury said Sunday morning. “You know how we horse trainers are. I had to get him back to Skylight last night and I had to be at Churchill Downs at 5:30 [this morning] for the first set. I wound up having a frozen pizza and a cold beer.”
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables’ Speech (Mr Speaker), along with stablemate and Blue Grass third-place finisher Rushie (Liam’s Map), is scheduled to ship back to California Monday following her victory in Saturday’s GI Central Bank Ashland S.
“Justin Curran was deputizing on my behalf and was very pleased with them this morning,” trainer Mike McCarthy said of the duo via text Sunday. “Most likely both will have a few works here at Del Mar before deciding on a Churchill Downs arrival date.”
Rushie is not Triple Crown nominated, and plans are uncertain for the colt, who has picked up 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the Run for the Roses.
“Nothing is set in stone for Rushie,” McCarthy said. “There are plenty of options.”