Having posted an impressive six and one-quarter-length victory in his last start - a 100 Beyer in his third consecutive win - Bernardini's three-year-old son Art Collector was poised to add to an improving resume and didn't disappoint his connections or fans as he ran away from the field to win the G2 Blue Grass Stakes on July 11th, and appears to have earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby in September.
Never far off of the pace during his previous seven starts, Art Collector was well placed among the leaders shortly after the start and maintained his position in sight of the leaders along the back stretch and into the turn. Jockey Brian Hernandez asked for more from the improving sophomore as the field entered the turn and he wasn't disappointed as the son of Bernardini responded with more and won going away. He earned a career high 103 Beyer for his effort and earned 100 points toward the September 5th Kentucky Derby.
Bred by his owner Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky, Art Collector is out of the Stakes-winning/G1-placed Distorted Legacy, a half sister to G2 winner and three-time G1-placed Vision And Verse along with Stakes-placed Performing Diva and Broadway Express. A look at the extended pedigree sees the likes of influential Greentree Stallions Stop The Music and Hatchet Man.
Art Collector joins an impressive list of high-class runners for his sire, a group that includes G1 Travers winners Stay Thirsty and Alpha, along with G1 Cigar Mile winner To Honor And Serve. Bernardini has sired a total of 46 career Graded/Group winners, including 14 G1 winners.
Art Collector is Bernardini's 22nd Graded Stakes winner on dirt since 2015 - only Tapit and Curlin have more.