Milton, ON – Tattoo Artist, a 27-time winner and earner of over C$1.6 million, will look to add another triumph to his tremendous racing career, this time in Saturday’s (Sept. 2) C$650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Trained by Dr. Ian Moore for owners Let It Ride Stables, Frank Cannon and Diamond Creek Racing, the 5-year-old son of He’s Watching-Stylish Artist arrives at his latest engagement off a third in his Pacing Derby elimination on August 27.
Tara Hills Stud Ltd. bred the bay. The final will feature a tough field that includes Bulldog Hanover who holds the world record and multiple stakes winners. Jimmy Freight and last year’s Pepsi North America Cup champ, Desperate Man.
“He’s doing fantastic,” said Moore. “With the eight-hole, he can leave well from there. I don’t think it will be a big challenge for us. It will be fascinating to see the outcome of this race. Obviously, there are some very good horses in there.”
Last week, Tattoo Artist’s race line contained the abbreviation ‘BE,’ denoting broken equipment.
“He kind of had broken equipment,” started Moore. “He wears cheek rolls, which is essentially where you can’t see back bridle. One fell off the quarter-pole. I’m not sure how it happened. Velcro is what holds them on. I was warming up another horse before that race and I didn’t get to check it before he went out. It somehow got looser and fell off during race. He finished last. Unfortunately, we didn’t get him until Thursday (last week). We received him Wednesday night, and we hoped that he would arrive a bit earlier. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare him, but he’s much better prepared this time. Today, I taught him on the farm track. [Thursday] and we’re looking to forward it.”
Moore just loves to have his highly productive pacer back in the barn.
Over the past two campaigns, Tattoo Artist lived somewhat on the road.
“We had him almost the first three years of his Standardbred career and then, the second year, last year, when the coronavirus really hit hard in May and June, we sent him down to [trainer] Chris Ryder in the U.S,” offered Moore. “We’ve had the horse back and forth a few weeks at a time since then. This is probably the third time.”
Moore isn’t the only familiar face to have welcomed him with open arms.
“It’s always great to have him back in the barn. Giselle Loder was his 2-year-old caregiver. She still takes care of him. He’s turned into a super little horse in every which way possible. When he jogs, he just lopes along like an old 10-year-old, and when you need him to be, he’s all business.”
Moore’s lofty praise of the 2020 O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year doesn’t end there.
The veteran conditioner, who has campaigned several outstanding stars over the years, lauded one particular element of Tattoo Artist’s Swiss army knife-like skillset.
“He probably has the quickest turn of foot of any horse I’ve ever had, how he can go from one speed and transition to another. It’s really amazing. He used to have to get up a lot to reach the next gear when he was young. Now, you don’t have to even ask him. You just release your grip on the reins a little bit and he just takes off on his own.”
Tattoo Artist will be performing a 7-5-3 seasonal mark from 17 starts. James MacDonald, a leading Mohawk driver, will perform the sulky Saturday. Moore is in complete control.
He noted that a competitor has made a lot of progress since his beginning days.
“He was a little rat to break. “He was rude and ignorant. He was so stubborn that we had to drag him on the golf cart. Now, you wouldn’t find a more perfect horse. You just walk to the track, and he’ll stop and look around. He’s just a lovely horse to do anything with and there’s no fault to him at all. I love him.”
However, this adoration has its limitations.
Moore will add ink to the tattoo if Tattoo Artist crosses the line tomorrow night.
“No, I probably won’t. I don’t have any now, and I don’t think I ever will.”
Below is the complete list of participants in this year’s Canadian Pacing Derby Final.
1 – Rockyroad Hanover – Todd McCarthy – Tony Alagna – 10-1
2 – Jimmy Freight – Louis-Philippe Roy – Richard Moreau – 4-1
3 – Abuckabett Hanover – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna – 12-1
4 – Bulldog Hanover – Dexter Dunn – Jack Darling – 6-5
5 – Poseidon Seelster – Bob McClure – Donald Lindsey – 15-1
6 – Desperate Man – Trevor Henry – Kathy Cecchin – 8-1
7 – Lous Pearlman – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 15-1
8 – Tattoo Artist – James MacDonald – Dr. Ian Moore – 10-1
9 – Workin Ona Mystery – David Miller – Ron Burke – 15-1
10 – Warrawee Vital – Sylvain Filion – Robert Fellows – 15-1
AE – My Pal Joe – Doug McNair – Gregg McNair – 20-1