Steve Asmussen

Jackie's Warrior, Former King of the Hill, Looks to Reclaim His Perch

In the world's current state of affairs, a lot can change in a few months' time. Racing is no different. One only has to go back to November to remember when Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) was the undisputed leader of his age group. But an odds-on loss on the sport's biggest stage took the bloom off of his rose for some, and these days, despite being a multiple Grade I winner, one could argue he is a forgotten colt as the GI Kentucky Derby trail kicks...

[ Read More ]
U.S. Quintet Tunes Up For Saudi Cup

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—A number of trainers with horses engaged in Saturday's Saudi Cup have been unable to travel but their horses and exercise riders have shipped in, mostly over last weekend, for the second running of the $20 million contest at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. The 14-strong field includes two locally-trained horses, Great Scot (GB) (Requinto {Ire}) and Alzahzaah (KSA) (Worldly), who face competition from Britain, Japan and Bahrain as well as five runners from the United States. For most of the American contingent, stronger work had taken place on the...

[ Read More ]
Clairiere A Fitting Winner of the Rachel Alexandra

Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra carried the famed burgundy and gold silks of Stonestreet Farm to six victories, four of which were Grade Is, including the GI Preakness S. and GI Woodward S. So, it was only fitting that another filly carrying the colors of Barbara Banke's operation, Clairiere (Curlin), won that Horse of the Year's namesake Grade II race at the Fair Grounds Saturday. The event, which produced GI Kentucky Oaks winners in 2018 and 2019, offered 50 points towards this year's run for the lillies. Clairiere rallied strongly...

[ Read More ]
Essential Quality Tops 326 Early Triple Crown Nominees

Led by 2-year-old champion and two-time Grade I winner Essential Quality (Tapit), a total of 326 3-year-olds were made eligible to compete in this year's Triple Crown during the early nomination phase, which closed Jan. 23. Each of the 326 horses from the 2018 foal crop were made eligible through a $600 payment to compete in any leg of the Triple Crown series. The 2021 Triple Crown opens Saturday, May 1 with the 147th running of the GI Kentucky Derby at Churchill, continues with the 146th GI Preakness S. at...

[ Read More ]
Outwork Filly Stays Unbeaten at Oaklawn

8th-Oaklawn, $84,000, Alw, 1-24, (NW1X), 3yo, f, 6f, 1:11.89, my, 1 1/2 lengths. ABROGATE (f, 3, Outwork--Hot Coffee, by Burning Roma) became the third winner on Oaklawn's Sunday card for her owners, trainer and jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. A six-length debut winner at Churchill Nov. 12, she'd been flattered when the runner-up from that heat returned to take her next two starts and was backed down to 4-5 favoritism facing a promising group. Away well, the dark bay was content to press from second through an opening quarter of :22.78...

[ Read More ]
Uncle Mo Colts Stays Perfect in Hot Springs

7th-Oaklawn, $84,000, Alw, 1-23, (NW1X), 3yo, 6f, 1:10.29, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. SWIFTSURE (c, 3, Uncle Mo--Island Saint {GSP, $133,860}, by Speightstown) wired the field to take his debut by 3 1/4 lengths in his career bow at the Fair Grounds Nov. 27 and was hammered down to even-money to repeat here. Hustled out of the gate, the dark bay was overtaken by longshot Lock Up (Maclean's Music) and kept a watchful eye from second through a swift first quarter in :21.51. Closing the gap on the backstretch, Swiftsure took...

[ Read More ]
Sunday's Insights: Hidden Scroll Gets Fresh Start for Brad Cox

8th-Gulfstream Park, $50K, Msw, 3yo, f, 1mT, post time: 3:42 p.m. ET RICHEBOURG (Curlin), an $800,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Alpha Delta Stable, kicks off her career for Chad Brown. Produced by a half-sister to MGISW Evening Jewel (Northern Afleet), she is a half-sister to GI Triple Bend S. winner Denman's Call (Northern Afleet). Scarlett Lace (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-sister to ill-fated champion sprinter Points Offthebench (Benchmark), debuts for Brian Lynch. She RNA'd for $500,000 at Keeneland September. TJCIS PPs 7th-Oaklawn Park, $85K, Alw, N3L, 4yo/up, 6f, post time:...

[ Read More ]
GSP Aurelius Maximus to Stud in Louisiana

GSP Aurelius Maximus (Pioneerof the Nile--La Reina, by A.P. Indy) has been retired from racing and will enter stud in 2021 at Jay Adcock's Red River Farm in Coushatta, Louisiana. The deal was brokered by Andrew Cary of Cary Bloodstock. The 5-year-old, who will stand in a partnership between Nathan Granger and Stonestreet Stables/George Bolton/Peter Leidel, will stand for $2,000 live foal, with consideration to approved mares. "Aurelius Maximus is the most exciting horse to retire to Louisiana for many years," said Cary. "His combination of impeccable pedigree, gorgeous conformation...

[ Read More ]
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...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Will the Road to Louisville Run Through New Orleans?

After Saturday's GIII Lecomte S., one thing's for certain: the offspring of broodmare Catch the Moon have a strong affinity for that main track in New Orleans. Three of the four graded stakes winners the Malibu Moon mare has produced are now a collective 5-for-6 over the Fair Grounds dirt after the one-length wire job by Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) in the first leg of the track's Road to the GI Kentucky Derby series. Trainer Steve Asmussen's job will now involve trying to build upon that home-track advantage as Midnight Bourbon...

[ Read More ]
Tiznow's Midnight Bourbon Coast-To-Coast in the Lecomte

Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) put himself on the GI Kentucky Derby trail with a tenacious, one-length front-running score in Saturday's GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds. Proxy (Tapit) was second; 4-5 favorite and 'TDN Rising Star' Mandaloun (Into Mischief) was third after a wide trip in his two-turn debut. The 7-2 shot left the gate running from his rail draw and led the scratched-down field of eight into the clubhouse turn. Midnight Bourbon cruised along on the front end beneath Joe Talamo through fractions of :24.68 and :48.99, while Proxy, a...

[ Read More ]
Breeders' Cup Winner Bulletin Set For Delayed Aussie Debut

Bulletin (City Zip), who took the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2018, makes his Australian debut for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in Saturday's A$125,000 Sky Racing Active H. over 1100 meters at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. He was scratched from a similar spot last weekend at Randwick. Bred in Kentucky by CresRan and sold for $250,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Bulletin first raced for the partnership of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing and was trained by...

[ Read More ]