Scott Blasi

Echo Zulu Heads to Kentucky for More Tests

Echo Zulu (Gun Runner), last year's champion 2-year-old filly, will be sent to Kentucky for additional tests after being scratched behind the gate before Saturday's GI Acorn S. at Belmont Park. The filly was scratched by the track veterinarian due to lameness in her left foreleg, but X-rays taken Saturday were all clean, according to trainer Steve Asmussen. "She is giving us all the signs that we want to see," said Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen, who added that the filly will be shipped to Kentucky for a full evaluation...

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Epicenter, Early Voting Take First Tour of Old Hilltop

Winchell Racing's Epicenter (Not This Time), whose runner-up effort in the GI Kentucky Derby May 7 has earned him a quote of 6-5 morning-line favoritism for Saturday's GI Preakness S., was out for a one-mile gallop around the Pimlico main track Wednesday morning under the watchful eye of Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen . "He's traveling really well. It seems like his energy level is good," said Blasi, explaining that Asmussen left the track early to watch horses work at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale at Timonium....

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Epicenter Sitting on Go for Preakness

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) remained on target for Saturday's GI Preakness S. after a 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. "He seems to be pretty sharp," Scott Blasi, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen's Churchill division, said of the GI Kentucky Derby runner-up and likely Preakness favorite. "I love how he's doing. He galloped today like that was nothing; walked off the track with good energy. We'll put a little work in him and go. Not much to do from here on out.... [but] win." Epicenter had...

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Hot Trainer Steve Asmussen Joins TDN Writer's Room

On his drive from Saratoga to Kentucky Downs Tuesday, Steve Asmussen stopped in every state he drove through and bought lottery tickets. Shocking that he didn't win. Coming off one of the greatest week-and-a-half stretches in racing history, during which he won five Grade I races in Saratoga over nine days, Asmussen was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week on the TDN Writer's Room, presented by Keeneland. If that wasn't enough, two of his wins, Gunite in the GI Hopeful S. and Echo Zulu in the GI Spinaway...

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Team Asmussen Celebrates Big Day

While Steve Asmussen was on the road to the Texas yearling sales Sunday morning, his team was still celebrating a pair of Grade I victories at Saratoga Saturday. Yaupon (Uncle Mo) captured the GI Forego S.  in a dramatic stretch run shortly before stablemate Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) battled to a determined victory in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. Asmussen also saddled Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to a runner-up effort in the GI Runhappy Travers S. "I was so proud of how our horses ran yesterday. It was a...

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Hot Rod Charlie on to Derby

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) exited his win in Saturday's GII Louisiana Derby in fine shape and will ship back to trainer Doug O'Neill's California base Tuesday to prepare for the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby. "Charlie looked great this morning," O'Neill said. "He flies back to California on Tuesday. I love the spacing [six weeks] leading up to the Kentucky Derby. It's ideal. He's proven to travel well. I'm very proud of my nephew Patrick [with co-owner Boat Racing]. He's a real good young man and I'm very excited...

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Midnight Bourbon on to Risen Star

Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) came out of his wire-to-wire victory in Saturday's GIII Lecomte S. in fine shape, Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said Sunday. The Winchell Thoroughbreds runner is expected to start next in the Feb. 13 GII Risen Star S. Mandaloun (Into Mischief), the beaten favorite when third in the Lecomte, may get a change of equipment for his  next start, according to trainer Brad Cox. "We still think he is a very good horse," Cox said of the Juddmonte Farm homebred. "He raced wide around both...

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Midnight Bisou Retired

Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute--Diva Delite, by Repent), the reigning Eclipse Award-winning older female and five-time Grade I winner, has been retired from racing, according to Jeffrey Bloom, co-owner and managing partner or Bloom Racing Stable. "I cannot begin to tell you what this mare has meant to me, my family, and my partners," said Bloom. "The places she has taken us and the thrills she has given us are immeasurable. And just to be in her presence is to feel what greatness is all about. Her calm, inquisitive demeanor, her...

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Pneumatic Breezes Bullet for Preakness

'TDN Rising Star' Pneumatic (Uncle Mo), last-out winner of the Aug. 15 Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, breezed five furlongs in company in a bullet 1:00.85 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Monday morning as he continues towards a start in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Oct. 3. With exercise rider Angel Garcia up, Pneumatic went in fractions of :12, :23.80, :36 and galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15. "On this track, that's about as good as horses work," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve...

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Dept. of Labor Sues Asmussen

According to published reports, the U.S. Labor Department has filed a lawsuit against trainer Steve Asmussen alleging that, since 2012, the trainer's KDE Equine has not paid Churchill Downs stable workers overtime and has failed to keep proper employment records regarding wages paid and hours worked. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville, KY. "They just have a fundamental misunderstanding, honestly, of the hours that these folks work and how they're paid," Asmussen's attorney Clark Brewster told Louisville Courier-Journal. "And even if they were correct in their...

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