Carson's Legacy Gets Dixieland Win
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/Blood-Horse Publications
Carson’s Legacy overcame a rough start and proved he could come from off the pace when he won the $50,000 Dixieland Stakes at Oaklawn Park for trainer Steve Asmussen Jan. 18, opening day at the Hot Springs, Ark., track.

Most of the 3-year-old colt’s starts – including his six-length maiden victory at Calder in August of last year – have seen him tackle the early lead. After dueling for the pace in his last start, the one-mile Jean Laffite Stakes at Delta Downs Nov. 9, he burned out and finished fifth. So Asmussen shortened the colt up to the Dixieland’s 5 ½-furlong distance, the same length that brought an impressive Birdonthewire Stakes victory at Calder Race Course in October of his 2-year-old season.

“I just thought (the Dixieland) was the right spot for him,” Asmussen said. “He ran a disappointing race last time out at Delta, but that field proved to be pretty tough – the horses that came out of there went on to do well. I wanted to find a race he could win and
was fortunate this one came to mind.”

Under jockey Louis Quinonez, the Carson City colt was bumped at the start of the 5 ½-furlong event but recovered as the Bennie Woolley Jr.-trained Yonegwa sprinted to the front and led through brisk early fractions of :22.13 and :45.93. Kinetic Motion and Ben and the Twin raced second and third while Carson’s Legacy rated off the pace about three wide.

"I wanted to be sitting behind the leaders," said Quinonez. "The front runners were backing up most of the day and I wanted to be in position when we turned for home to make a good run through the stretch. Once he got by the two inside of him, he finished real strong."

They turned for home with Yonegwa still in front while the other two faded after going 5/8ths in :58.20, but Carson’s Legacy wore down the tiring frontrunner to cross the wire ahead by 1 ¾-lengths. The final time was 1:04.57.

"I thought he overcame the bad break very well," said Asmussen.

Carson’s Legacy returned $8.60, $4.20, and $3.20 to win, while Yonegwa and jockey Casey Lambert paid $4 and $3 to place. Late closer Hadnot was $4.40 under Timothy Doocy to show.

Bred in Kentucky by New Life Farm out of the Pass the Line mare Sue’s Prospect, Carson’s Legacy was purchased privately from New Life and partners after his 6 ¾-length Birdonthewire Stakes victory. This was his second start for Asmussen and his third career victory from six starts. The winner’s share of $30,000 boosted his total earnings to $76,430.

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