Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Asmussen coming out firing

David Grening,
Daily Racing Form

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It won't take long for trainer Steve Asmussen to know how good of a Saratoga meet he is going to have this year. And it will have nothing to do with Rachel Alexandra.

Asmussen sends out two major contenders in both the Schuylerville and Sanford, the first two graded stakes of the meet. On Wednesday, he also sends out first-time starters Magic Tiger and Macjoey in maiden races, and on Thursday, he'll start the second-time starter Kinsey.

"We'll find out right away won't we?" Asmussen said Wednesday morning. "By Friday morning, we'll know exactly how the 2-year-old crop is."

Last year, Asmussen's 2-year-old crop was extremely strong as he went 8 for 30 with juveniles at the meet. Overall, Asmussen won 10 races at the 2008 Saratoga meet, capped of course by Horse of the Year Curlin's victory in the Woodward.

This year, the star of Asmussen's barn is the 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, who may or may not run here. So, it may be up to the 2-year-olds to carry the load.

In Wednesday's Grade 3 Schuylerville, a race he won last year with Jardin, Asmussen sends out Hot Dixie Chick, who set a track record for five furlongs at Churchill Downs in her second start, and Kinsolving, who has lost two stakes after winning her debut at Keeneland.

"She's tremendously laid back," Asmussen said of Hot Dixie Chick. "Off of her first race and how much she showed and as quiet as she'd been to that point, you were extremely excited to run her back. She's still coming. She's fast but she's still got some coming to do."

Kinsolving finished third to Schuylerville hopeful Decelerator in the Grade 3 Debutante. Asmussen said Kinsolving was compromised in that race by stumbling at the start.

On Thursday, in the Grade 2 Sanford, Asmussen sends out Enumerate, a five-length debut winner, and Louisvilleluminary, a second-out winner. Louisvilleluminary is a half-brother to the Grade 1 winner Purge, who won the Jim Dandy here in 2004.

Speaking of the Jim Dandy, Asmussen will send out Dwyer winner Kensei in this year's Jim Dandy, to be run Saturday. On Monday, Kensei looked awfully strong working four furlongs in 48.70 seconds, getting his last quarter in 23.90 over the training track.

"I love how he's training," Asmussen said. "You'd watch him work at Churchill and said if that son of a [gun] ain't a runner who is?"

Not all of Asmussen's fortunes will be decided in the opening week. Later in the meet, he has the 2-year-old filly Dashing Debby to run in the Adirondack and the 2-year-old colt Thiskyhasnolimit for the Saratoga Special. He also will run the 3-year-old Heart Ashley in the Grade 1 Test on Aug. 8.


D.S. Williamson said...

Nothing like putting a little pressure on yourself, Asmussen. Of course you have a proven record so who am I to question strategy? Best of luck with your new racers.

Anonymous said...

Great call.

Betting Tips said...

Sounds interesting. Of course who runs, have the both aspects of loose or to win. Persistence and determination always considered major pillars.

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