Steve Asmussen

3-Year-Olds Nest and Epicenter Voted Eclipse Best

A pair of battle-tested performers in their 3-year-old categories, Nest and Epicenter showed grit and determination versus some stiff competition along the Derby and Oaks Trails. NEST When all the votes were tallied, the title for the 2022 champion 3-year-old filly division went for the second consecutive year to another uber-talented daughter of Curlin out of an A.P. Indy mare. Also trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Nest follows in the footsteps of 2021 3-year-old filly champion Malathaat, who employed a similar route to Eclipse success, including wins in...

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Quality Road's First Defender Earns 'Rising Star' Nod On Debut

Gunned to the front from a middle gate by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, First Defender (3, c, Quality Road--Love And Pride, by A.P. Indy) withstood pressure on all sides and a contested early pace at the Fair Grounds to become the newest 'TDN Rising Star'. Off sharply, the colt found himself sandwiched between horses from the opening strides with Pinfire (Bolt d'Oro) to his inside and Golden Nugget (Mendelssohn) off his outer flank. The trio quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field as they sped through an opening quarter...

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First Foal for Spendthrift Farm's Yaupon

Spendthrift Farm's Grade I winner Yaupon (Uncle Mo) sired a colt, his first reported foal, on Jan. 13 at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York. Bred by Rockridge Stud, Saratoga Glen Farm and Pete Beals, the dark bay is out of MSW Frost Giant mare Frostie Anne, an earner of $584,443. "This colt is good sized, born at around 122 pounds. He's very balanced and correct, and you can tell he's going to have a big hip," said Lere Visagie, owner of Rockridge Stud. "I've had three foals out of...

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Epicenter Makes His Way to Ashford Stud

Grade I winner Epicenter (Not This Time), who suffered a displaced condylar fracture to his right front leg during the running of the Nov. 5 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland, on Friday was sent to Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, KY, where he will stand his first season at stud this year, Winchell Thorougbreds racing manager David Fiske tweeted. The winner of last year's GI Runhappy Travers. S. and GII Jim Dandy S. had been recuperating from the injury and subsequent surgery, conducted by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood...

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Godolphin Repeats as Top-Earning Owner, with Ortiz and Brown Also on Top in 2022

Godolphin, LLC, which campaigned 14 North American graded stakes winners, was the country's leading owner by earnings for the second year in a row, while jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. established single-season earnings and stakes wins records and Chad Brown was the leading trainer by earnings for the first time since 2019, according to figures released Tuesday by Equibase Company LLC. Godolphin had 88 North American wins from 438 starts for earnings of $16,343,067, down from its single-season earnings record of $17.4 million set in 2021. The operation was followed on...

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Spendthrift Newcomers Feature Pair of Juvenile Stakes Winners

Spendthrift Farm has added four new stallions to their extensive roster for 2023. Of those, two carry the weighty distinction of winning a graded stake at two. Both precocious horses furthered their success on the racetrack after their juvenile campaigns. Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo - Callingmissbrown, by Pulpit) took home a hard-fought win in the 2021 GII Remsen S. and went on to claim a Classic victory this year. His new studmate Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music - Unicorn Girl, by A.P. Five Hundred) came close to an undefeated season at...

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Torres Off to Sizzling Start at Oaklawn

Last year's meet at Oaklawn Park was not a particularly good one for jockey Cristian Torres. Largely unknown on the circuit when he came in and sidelined for the last five weeks of the meet when fracturing his right ankle in a spill, he won just 19 races, ending up 15th in the standings. Fast forward some eight months later and Torres is tearing the place apart. Two weeks into the meet, he's the leading rider with 11 wins and is winning with 33% of his mounts. "We've started off...

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Snapper Sinclair to Enter Stud at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds

Snapper Sinclair (City Zip--True Addiction, by Yes It's True) will retire to stud at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds for the 2023 breeding season. He will stand for $5,000 live foal, stands and nurses. Raced by Jeff Bloom's Bloom Racing Stable and trained by Steve Asmussen, the popular bay was known for his durability, posting a career record of 39-7-9-4 and earnings of over $1.8 million. The three-time stakes winner on grass was also second in the 2020 GI Cigar Mile H. The $30,000 KEESEP yearling and $180,000 OBS April 2-year-old...

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Epicenter To Stand at Ashford Stud

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time--Silent Candy, by Candy Ride {Arg}), a leading candidate for champion 3-year-old honors, will enter stud in 2023 at Ashford Stud. He will stand for $45,000. Bred at Mike, Brent and Kevin Harrises' Westwind Farms in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Epicenter was hammered down to the Winchell team for $260,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September sale and was ultimately turned over to the operation's Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. A maiden winner at second asking going the one-turn mile at Churchill Downs, the bay romped...

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Juveniles Headline Saturday Graded Stakes Action

Curly Jack (Good Magic) looks to return to winning ways at a venue at which he is already two-for-two in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs. A debut winner at this oval in June, he was off the board in Saratoga's GIII Sanford S. in July, but missed by just a head in the Ellis Park Juvenile S. in August. Rallying to victory in this oval's GIII Iroquois S. Sept. 17, the bay was fifth at odds of 55-1 in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland...

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November 19 Insights: Half to Sires Honor Code, Noble Tune Debuts

5th-CD, $120k, Msw, 3yo/up, 6f, 3:01p.m. ET Conditioner Steve Asmussen will unveil the regally-bred WITHOUT A SONG (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-brother to Champion older horse Honor Code (A.P. Indy) as well as GISP Noble Tune (Unbridled's Song); hailing from the female family of Hall of Famer and blue-hen Serena's Song (Rahy). This is also the family of MGSW Vocalised (Vindication) and Grand Reward (Storm Cat) as well as at least nine other graded and group runners beneath that stellar third dam. The late starter will have Ricardo Santana Jr. in...

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Epicenter Stable, Expected to Recover Fully for Stallion Career

Trainer Steve Asmussen reported Sunday that leading 3-year-old Epicenter (Not This Time), who was pulled up on the backstretch of Saturday's GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, had two screws inserted to stabilize a fracture in his condylar joint and is expected to make a full recovery for his future stallion career. "Epicenter had a lateral condylar fracture of his right front," Asmussen said in a statement. "This morning, Dr. Larry Bramlage inserted two screws to stabilize the injury and the horse is up and resting in his stall. After surgery,...

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