Steve Asmussen

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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All Eyes on Unbeaten Yaupon in Chick Lang

Despite losing the ultra-talented GISW Volatile (Violence) to an untimely injury in late September, the Hall of Fame Steve Asmussen barn still has another big bullet to fire in the sprint division in the form of the up-and-coming unbeaten sophomore Yaupon (Uncle Mo) in Thursday's GIII Chick Lang S. at Pimlico. The L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt colorbearer, a $255,000 OBS June acquisition (:10), made it a perfect three-for-three in front-running fashion while making his stakes debut in Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S. last time Aug. 29. The Chick Lang 4-5...

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Munnings Colt Romps to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Performance at Pimlico

Jaxon Traveler (c, 2, Munnings--Listen Boy, After Market) shot out to the front and left them all in the dust, romping to a 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut at Pimlico Friday. The even-money favorite, a $140,000 purchase by West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner after breezing in :10 flat at the postponed OBS April Sale, was working bullets at Steve Asmussen's Belmont base, including a five-furlong move from the gate in :59 3/5 (1/18) Sept. 13. The dark bay raced under pressure early, but appeared to be doing it...

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Max Player to Preakness

George Hall and SportsBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.'s Max Player (Honor Code) will contest the Oct. 3 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico. "I'm very excited because I haven't been in the Preakness yet," said Hall, who won the 2011 Belmont with 24-1 shot Ruler On Ice. "After the Kentucky Derby, he looked like he wanted to keep running. Steve watched him closely, and he was in great shape. He's galloped well. He's breezed well. We felt the horse was at the peak of his game and is ready to run." Winner of...

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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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New Winner for California Chrome at Churchill Downs

4th-Churchill Downs, $69,074, Msw, 9-20, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:04.50, ft. DECADE (f, 2, California Chrome--Emma Carly, by Unbridled's Song) was pounded down to 1-5  after a close-up second in her career debut at Ellis Aug. 15. Firster Color of Dawn (Exxaggerator) jumped to the lead early and Decade was hustled into a stalking position through an initial quarter in :22.82. Asked for more by Ricardo Santana Jr. leaving the far turn, the heavy favorite collared Color of Dawn and was on equal terms with her rival turning for home....

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Well-Bred Tapit Colt Romps to Rising Stardom

Three Chimneys Farm and Harrell Ventures LLC's Stayin' Out Late (Tapit) was sent off at a chilly-on-the-board 21-5 in Friday's seventh race at Churchill Downs, but the well-bred chestnut turned the 6 1/2-furlong affair into a procession, galloping away to score by 7 3/4 lengths. Away without incident from the inside gate, the son of GSW Graeme Six (Graeme Hall) made the lead with a minimum of fuss and was allowed a soft time of it up front, covering the opening quarter in :23.66 and the half in a route-like...

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Jaw-Dropping Jackie’s Warrior Romps in Runhappy Hopeful

J Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music), breathtaking winner of the Aug. 7 GII Saratoga Special S., added another superlative to his resume with a jaw-dropping victory in the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. at Saratoga Monday. Sent off at 9-5, the bay colt was away sharply and almost immediately had a two-length advantage on the field through an opening quarter in :22.56. Pepetu (Dialed In) and even-money favorite Reinvestment Risk (Upstart) were his closest pursuers, but as that duo tried to inch closer, Jackie's Warrior spurted further clear,...

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Jackie’s Warrior Meets ‘Rising Star’ Pair in Hopeful

With the obvious caveat that anything can happen with 2-year-olds this early in their development--look no further than Sittin On Go (Brody's Cause)'s 24-1 upset in Saturday GII Iroquois S.--Monday's GI Runhappy Hopeful S. looks solidly like a three-horse affair, as arguably the three most impressive dirt juveniles of the meet will clash in the seven-furlong test. Made the fractional favorite on the morning line at 7-5, J. Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) looks formidable in his attempt for back-to-back Spa graded stakes scores. A first-out winner...

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Saturday’s Insights: Well-Bred Homebreds Debut

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-Churchill Downs, Msw, 2yo, 6f, post time: 12:35 p.m. Mike Rutherford's homebred BIG LAKE (American Pharoah) debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen. The chestnut colt is the first foal out of Resistivity (Student Council), who was third in the 2014 GII Forward Gal S. Brad Cox saddles Godolphin firster Essential Quality (Tapit), a son of graded placed Delightful Quality (Elusive Quality). TJCS PPs 5th-Saratoga, $72k, Msw, 2yo, 7f, post time: 2:01 p.m. Shadwell Farm's homebred MUNQAD (War Front), a half-brother to GIII Gotham S. winner Shagaf...

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Speightstown Colt Romps in the Saratoga Slop to Earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ Badge

Nashville (c, 3, Speightstown--Veronique, by Mizzen Mast) set sharp early fractions in the Saratoga slop on debut Wednesday afternoon and ran away and hid from his three overmatched rivals in the stretch en route to a 'TDN Rising Star' performance. The $460,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate, campaigned in partnership by CHC INC. and WinStar Farm LLC, sported a pair of flashy bullets on his worktab for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, including a five-furlong spin in :58 4/5 (1/20) from the gate at the Spa Aug. 9. The 1-5 favorite...

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Max Player Works and Mr. Big News Added to Derby Line Up

George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred Corp.'s Max Player (Honor Code) put in his final work ahead of Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby with an easy half-mile in :49.80 (26/50) Monday morning at Churchill Downs. The colt put up splits of :12.40 and :24.40 and galloped out in 1:02.80. "He's continuing to do well," Steve Asmussen, who has taken over training duties from Linda Rice, said. "I'm extremely excited about how he's going to run in the Kentucky Derby. I love how he looks going over the racetrack. His attitude is really...

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