Steve Asmussen

Echo Zulu Much The Best In Winning Colors

No stranger to layoffs, champion 2-year-old filly and 'TDN Rising Star' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) made her first start of 2023 a winning one with a runaway score in Churchill's GIII Winning Colors S. On the sidelines since a game second to 2022 champion female sprinter Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper) in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, she returned to the races in this six-furlong sprint--the shortest distance she's ever raced--without missing a beat, looking every bit the 3-10 favorite. Sharp from an outside gate, Echo Zulu went out...

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Red Route One Breezes Towards Belmont

Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Red Route One (Gun Runner), beaten just under five lengths when fourth to National Treasure (Quality Road) in the GI Preakness S. May 20, worked an easy half-mile in :50.85 at Belmont Park Monday morning as he readies for his next start in the GI Belmont S. Presented by NYRA Bets June 10. Trained by Steve Asmussen, who conditioned Creator (Tapit) to victory in the 2016 renewal, the chestnut worked on his own and NYRA clockers caught him galloping out five furlongs in 1:04. "It was good,...

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Frosted Filly Sharp in Churchill Debut

3rd-Churchill Downs, $118,574, Msw, 5-26, 2yo, f, 5f, :58.89, ft, 2 lengths. SHARP TUNE (f, 2, Frosted--Classy Tune {MSP, $135,504}, by Maclean's Music) made easy work of her debut with an impressive wire-to-wire score as the public's 4-5 favorite. The bay filly broke smartly from her inside post position and went right to the front, easily opening up on the field behind her with Intermittent (Bernardini) closest and stalking to her outside. Sharp Tune extended her lead as she rounded the bend and widened off even more into the stretch,...

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Bolt d'Oro Colt Slow To Go, But Breezes Home on Churchill Debut

2nd-Churchill Downs, $114,375, Msw, 5-25, 2yo, 5f, :59.04, ft, 4 lengths. GO OTTO GO (c, 2, Bolt d'Oro--Court Dancer {SW, $483,751}, by War Chant) was sent away at odds just shy of 2-1 for his debut run and overcame a bit of a sluggish beginning from the inside stall to graduate by four lengths Thursday. Off about a half-step slowly, the $42,000 Keeneland November buyback turned $180,000 Fasig-Tipton July purchase was forced to steady off the heels of pacesetting second-timer Suga Steve (Goldencents), but was athletic enough to re-engage to...

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New Venture to Bring Team Concept to Horse Racing, Launch Labor Day Weekend

Some two years ago, Randall Lane, the chief content officer for Forbes, and Bob Daugherty, an investor and educator, met for dinner and the conversation turned to horse racing. Both are fans of racing and they started to talk about why the sport isn't nearly as popular as the four major sports. The answer, they concluded, is that in baseball, basketball, football and hockey, the sports center around teams, leagues and standings. People fall in love with their teams, they root for them, they pay to see them play, they...

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Preakness Runners Plan Next Steps; Mage To Target Travers

Following his win the in GI Preakness S. Saturday, trainer Bob Baffert said that National Treasure (Quality Road) and Sir Barton S. winner Arabian Lion (Justify) would stay at Pimlico for a few more days this week and may go on to New York for races on the Belmont S. program June 10. Though he did not rule out Arabian Lion, he said National Treasure was a more likely candidate for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. Baffert said he did not want to send the colts back to his base...

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Ryvit Takes Chick Lang, Favored Havnameltdown Euthanized

The day's graded stakes action at Pimlico got off inauspicious start with the injury and subsequent euthanasia of 4-5 choice Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) in the GIII Chick Lang S. Havnameltdown appeared flat-footed at the start but sped into contention as 5-1 Ryvit (Competitive Edge) assumed the helm through a :22.23 opening quarter. Exiting the far turn, the favorite took a bad step, unseating jockey Luis Saez and leaving the front-runner in the clear as 5-2 second choice Super Chow (Lord Nelson) found himself in a very wide second. Several lengths ahead...

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Preakness Preview: Mage Evolves From Underdog To Target

Onward to Baltimore! Here are the GI Preakness S. entrants listed in "likeliest winner" order. 1) Mage GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage won't be a heavy favorite on Saturday. In fact, he projects as the possible second choice in the betting based on the "fresh competition" angle in a Preakness that will feature no other starters who ran in the 18-horse Derby. Pari-mutuel value notwithstanding, a Preakness victory is within the grasp of this white-blazed, chestnut son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY). He's a lighter-framed colt who might...

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Top to Bottom: Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) Mage (No. 12 in TDN pre-race rankings) Mage, the little horse who could, was a characteristic beat slow out of the starting gate. Javier Castellano let him roll with the flow as the field sorted itself out through the first furlong, then darted to secure the rail while fourth-last the first time under the wire. Unhurried through the turn, this son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY) raced several...

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Mage Team Enjoying Derby Win, Eyeing Preakness

The team behind GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) was still savoring the colt's Classic victory on a rainy Sunday morning in Louisville, while taking a wait-and-see approach about a potential start in the May 20 GI Preakness S. "The horse is looking very good. I checked with the vet, and he's fine," trainer Gustavo Delgado, Sr. said. "Winning the Kentucky Derby is different than winning the Triple Crown and Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. It's the same but different. It was a very happy experience to win the Kentucky...

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Saturday Insights: Extra Anejo Returns On Derby Day

1st-CD, $127K, OC, 3yo, 6 1/2f, 10:30 a.m. EXTRA ANEJO (Into Mischief) makes his 3-year-old debut in the opener on Derby Saturday nearly seven months after blitzing a maiden special weight field by 9 1/2 lengths at Keeneland to earn 'TDN Rising Star' honors last October. A $1.35m Keeneland September yearling, the Steve Asmussen trainee is out of a half-sister to MSW/MGSP Abingdon (Street Cry {Ire}) and traces back to MG1SW and Eclipse champion grass mare Islington (Ire) (Sadler's Wells), G1SW Greek Dance (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) and G1SW Mountain High...

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Half-Mile Work for Disarm Monday

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Disarm (Gun Runner) completed his major preparations for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby with a half-mile work in :49.20 (15/30) at Churchill Downs Monday. With exercise rider Wilson Fabian in the saddle, Disarm was accompanied to the track by assistant trainer Scott Blasi aboard one pony, while trainer Steve Asmussen followed close behind on another. Disarm completed an opening quarter-mile of :25 and was not asked to gallop out past the wire, which is typical in Asmussen's works less than one week out of a race. "We've been behind...

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