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Artful

1995.2.1578 Keenland Cook small.jpg

Artful (Keeneland-Cook)
Artful
Induction Year: 
1956
Foaled: 
1902
Breeder: 
William Collins Whitney
Owner: 
Harry Payne Whitney
Trainer: 
John W. Rogers
Sire: 
Hamburg
Dam: 
Martha II
Damsire: 
Dandie Dinmont
Career Years: 
1904-1905
Starts: 
8
First: 
6
Second: 
2
Third: 
0
Earnings: 
$81,125.00

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Bio

Artful raced in the days when horses could be “declared” to win a race, which meant if a stable entered multiple horses it would announced beforehand which runner the owner intended to win the event with.

 

That Artful was not “declared” to win her first two career starts is likely the only reason the great filly did not go undefeated in her brief but spectacular career.

 

Regarded as the greatest of the 26 stakes winners bred by William Collins Whitney, Artful was a daughter of Hamburg out of the Dandie Dinmont mare Martha II. When Whitney died in 1904, Artful was leased to Herman Duryea and sent to train with John W. Rogers.

 

Artful arrived at the races Aug. 10, 1904 at Saratoga in a 5½-furlong maiden race worth $600. Duryea also entered Dreamer, with whom he declared to win. Frank Brunnell’s Daily Racing Form chart noted: “Artful, a genuine crackerjack, hard held and close up throughout, finished as easily and could probably have won.”

 

Six days later, Artful was sent out again at Saratoga with a stablemate and Duryea declared Princess Rupert to win, the entry closing at 1-7 odds. It was widely speculated later that Duryea and Rogers knew they had something special in Artful and were saving her maiden allowance for the upcoming Futurity. The chart said Artful “ … got away poorly, but went through like a flash into second place, where she stayed to the end under a pull and is evidently a crackerjack.”

 

Artful never lost again.

 

Eleven days after her second race, Artful was sent from Saratoga to Sheepshead Bay  to contest the $42,130 Futurity, which drew what was considered the strongest field of its 17 runnings to that point. James R. Keene’s undefeated Sysonby was favored at 3-2. Sysonby had won a maiden race by 10 lengths, the Brighton Junior Stakes by four, the Flash Stakes by 10 and the Saratoga Special by 10.

 

Along with Artful, Duryea entered Tanya, winner of the Spinaway and Hopeful in her two starts (and the Belmont the following year). This race, however, was an “undeclared” event and therefore Duryea did not have to announce an intended winner. The Futurity field also included the undefeated Tradition; Oiseau, winner of eight stakes that season; and talented stakes winners Agile, Councilman, Woodsaw, Chrysitis and Glorifier in the 16-horse field.

 

Artful, “superbly handled” by jockey Gene Hildebrand, settled into stride immediately in close pursuit of Sysonby and at the eighth pole went by him “as if he were anchored,” drawing off to win by five lengths. It was the only time Sysonby was defeated in his 15-race career.

 

There was no holding back Artful now.

 

Four days after the Futurity, Artful won the $10,245 Great Filly Stakes at odds of 1-15.

 

“Artful far outclassed the others, running lapped, hard held on the pacemaker Belle Strome, to the last furlong, where she drew to the front, winning with any amount,” according to the chart.

 

Six weeks later, on Oct. 15, Artful returned for the $3,230 White Plains Handicap at Morris Park. Assigned 130 pounds (29 more than any other horse in the race), Artful set a world record for six furlongs at 1:08, winning “all the way, never fully extended, and her’s was a magnificent performance,” said the chart.

 

Artful’s world record for six furlongs stood for exactly 50 years, finally surpassed Oct. 15, 1954 by Vestment (carrying 115 pounds) at Belmont Park.

 

The day after the White Plains, Artful, along with the other 14 horses in training that were leased to Duryea and nine yearlings also owned by Whitney, were auctioned at Morris Park. Whitney’s son, Harry Payne Whitney, bought Artful for $10,000 and Tanya for $7,000.

 

Artful didn’t begin her 3-year-old campaign until June 28, 1905 at Sheepshead Bay, winning a six-furlong allowance race by three lengths. Five days later, she won another six-furlong overnighter by two lengths to run her win streak to five.

 

Next up was the 1¼-mile Brighton Handicap, worth $21,750 to the winner. The field featured the great Beldame, Lawrence Realization winner Ort Wells and the top-weighted Delhi, winner of the 1904 Belmont. Artful was the lone 3-year-old of either sex in the field.

 

“Artful forged gradually to the front in the first furlong and established a small lead after being nearly forced out of her position next to the rail on the first turn by Ort Wells and it was at this critical moment only that the wonderful filly was fully extended to ward off danger. She came away, however, and only on sufferance was Ort Wells ever allowed to get near her afterwards, as she came on leisurely and won pulled up,” said the chart.

 

Whitney retired Artful following the Brighton, her sixth consecutive victory. She concluded her career with a record of 6-2-0 from eight starts and earnings of $81,125. Sent to Brookdale Stud in New Jersey, and then briefly to England, Artful produced only four foals. Three of them were winners, but not in stakes races. Artful died in 1927 at the age of 25.

Horse