Calumet Farm’s Term of Art and jockey Joseph Talamo, right, outleg Vending Machine (Norberto Arroyo, Jr.), left, to win the Grade III, $ 100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes
Calumet Farm’s Term of Art came from behind the early pace to win Sunday’s Cecil B. DeMille Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths, a race that was taken off the turf course due to inclement weather, losing it’s Grade 3 status, pending review. The juvenile son of Tiznow covered a mile over Del Mar’s main track rated good in 1:41.69 under Joe Talamo for trainer Doug O’Neill.
“He’s growing up,” said Talamo. “The more this horse runs, the better he’s going to get. He’ll just improve as he goes along, as he matures. I was very impressed with him today. I think he’ll run on, too. He’ll run a mile and a quarter. He wasn’t blowing hard at all at the end of this today. The track is playing OK. It’s mostly fair. Maybe a little deep; I don’t think they’re going to be setting any track records today.”
Curly’s Waterfront broke sharply, but Sword Fighter was quick into stride alongside him to take the lead. Through early fractions of :23.80 and :48.77 over a deep track, Sword Fighter led by a length over the trio of Curly’s Waterfront, Vending Machine and Ky. Colonel. Hootie followed them along the rail, with Term of Art another two lengths back while staying in the clear on the outside of the track. Approaching the half-mile pole, Term of Art made a big move to range up into fourth position, but then stalled a bit as the field turned for home.
Vending Machine challenged his stablemate Sword Fighter at the head of the lane, with Term of Art struggling a bit to find his stride in early stretch. Talamo changed sticks a couple times, and finally found the right rhythm to get his colt in motion. Term of Art surged late to score by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire, with Vending Machine holding on for second over Sword Fighter.
“The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (9th) was a lot of horses and it got a little tight coming out of the gate,” said O’Neill’s assistant Leandro Mora. “He’s not a horse who can take dirt in his face. He’s got to be a little clear. But he came out of it sound and we decided to try him in this race on the grass. When the race was called off the grass, Doug called me and said ‘What do you think?’ I said I like it because it’s off the grass. It worked out well and he wasn’t even tired when he came back. We still have a lot more we can do with this horse.”
Bred in Kentucky by Whisper Hill Farm, Term of Art was a $ 220,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. It took the colt three tries to break his maiden at Santa Anita, after which he finished ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. O’Neill entered the horse in the DeMille to try the turf, but was not overly disappointed when the race was moved back to the dirt, since Term of Art’s four previous starts had all been on dirt. Overall, Term of Art boasts two wins and a second from five career starts, for earnings of $ 110,000.
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