Chester Broman Sr. made his fortune as a subcontractor for state highways in New York. The 79-year-old Babylon Village resident will be in Southern California, the land of freeways, Saturdayrooting for his star 3-year-old, Artemis Agrotera, in the $1-million, 7-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.
Broman and his wife, Mary, have bred dozens of winners since the late '90s at their 300-acre Chestertown Farm near Lake George. As their farm manager, Jeff Raine, said with a smile, "Chester and Mary, they're a team.''
Raine said there are "about 40'' broodmares at Chestertown and 40 or so horses in the care of six trainers -- Mike Hushion, Jimmy Jerkens, Linda Rice, Tom Albertrani, John Kimmel and Rodrigo Ubillo. "Mr. Broman is a huge supporter of the New York breeding industry,'' Raine said. "He breeds half the mares to New York-bred stallions and half to Kentucky stallions.''
Artemis Agrotera, sired by Kentucky-based Roman Ruler, is the Bromans' only runner with two Grade I victories, and Saturday, before an international television audience, she has a good chance to make it three. She's 2-for-2 by a combined 161/2 lengths at 7 furlongs.
"She's a fine horse, and we don't think she has reached her limit yet,'' Chester Broman said. "She hasn't done anything to show us that she has.''
Artemis Agrotera is the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology, and like her namesake, the filly is dangerous when chasing her prey. She's 5-for-7 lifetime for Hushion, and her last race, the 61/2-furlong Gallant Bloom Handicap Sept. 20 at Belmont Park, may have been her best. She looked beaten before overcoming a 61/2-length deficit to edge the talented La Verdad by a head.
"She was so far behind that we thought she was throwing in a clunker,'' Broman said. "La Verdad is a very fast filly and I didn't think we would catch her, but we got there in the last jump.''
Thursday morning, Artemis Agrotera dazzled HRTV analysts Scott Hazelton and Richard Migliore. "She stole the show galloping and looked like a supermodel coming off the track,'' Hazelton said. To Migliore, "She looked as coiled up and ready to run as a horse can be.''
Artemis Agrotera can lead throughout, but her ability to stalk and pounce probably will be more valuable for jockey Jose Ortiz, who replaces injured Rajiv Maragh. From post 5, the 3-1 second choice can sit behind likely pacemaker Stonetastic and get first run on last year's runner-up, 5-2 favorite Judy the Beauty, and three-time Grade I winner Sweet Reason (9-2).
"I'm very happy,'' Hushion said. "She has a terrific post position and she's the kind of horse that will run from anywhere. Jose knows her pretty well. He rode her [twice] over the summer and has worked her about six times. She's doing great and we're hoping for a clean trip.''
Notes & quotes: Untapable, the top-ranked 3-year-old filly, and 4-year-old star Close Hatches top today's centerpiece, the 11/8-mile, $2-million Distaff.