Asmussen loaded for Preakness weekend bear
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Steve Asmussen brings the Kentucky Derby tandem of runner-up Lookin At Lee and 11th-place finisher Hence to Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1), but the 2016 Hall of Fame inductee’s stable will also be well-represented in other stakes Friday and Saturday.
It starts with Terra Promessa in Friday’s DuPont Distaff for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles. Stonestreet Stables’ 4-year-old filly is a daughter of its 2007 Preakness winner, two-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Curlin, also trained by Asmussen.
In her last start, Terra Promessa was a grudging second in Oaklawn Park’s Apple Blossom (G1) to 2015 3-year-old champion Stellar Wind, who last year twice beat the vaunted Beholder. That effort and her six-for-11 record makes Terra Promessa the 6-5 program favorite and 124-pound highweight, two to six pounds more than her seven rivals.
“She’s coming off a huge effort to Stellar Wind in the Apple Blossom,” Asmussen said. “I’m a little concerned with how much weight she gives in the race. But that’s what success will do to you, with her having a couple of graded victories this year already.”
Vertical Oak, coming in off a stakes win in Iowa, is part of an overflow field for the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs – a race that shapes up as deep and contentious as any stakes of the weekend.
“It’s worthy of its grading, obviously,” Asmussen said. “But she’s a very fast filly who is coming off her best lifetime race.”
Chanteline is the 7-2 second choice in Friday’s $100,000 Skipat for filly and mare sprinters. She won an Oaklawn allowance race before finishing second in the Carousel. Chanteline will be putting her speed up against the favored Clipthecouponannie, winner of four straight before finishing a good third in Aqueduct’s Distaff Handicap (G3) at seven furlongs.
“Chanteline in the Skipat is coming off two very impressive races for herself,” Asmussen said. “We think the timing is good, and we’re excited about that.”
The stable also has Grand Candy in the $100,000 Maker’s Mark Jim McKay Turf Sprint at five furlongs on turf. “He’s always competitive,” Asmussen said.
Holy Boss, winner of the Maker’s Mark Chick Lang two years ago at Pimlico, returns in Saturday’s $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3) at six furlongs. The 5-year-old won the Fair Grounds’ Duncan F. Kenner Stakes before losing twice to the sky-rocketing Whitmore, who also is in the Maryland Sprint. “We love how he’s training right now,” Asmussen said.
Resiliency, in Saturday’s $100,000 LARC Sir Barton to benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, won a Fair Grounds allowance race but then had a hind leg stepped on by a horse behind him in Keeneland’s Lexington (G3), losing by 52 lengths. “I think we’re over that,” Asmussen said.
Total Tap runs in Saturday’s $100,000 James W. Murphy for 3-year-olds on turf.