Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out five 2-year-olds in two stakes races as Churchill Downs wraps up the spring meet in Louisville this weekend.
In the Bashford Manor (gr. III) Asmussen saddles Hartwell Farm’s Kodiak Kowboy, fresh off a June 17 win in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine. The son of Posse currently has two wins and a fourth from three career starts. He will run with stablemate Crackalackin, a son of Tiger Ridge who looks to break his maiden after finishing second in his only career start May 12 at Churchill.
Asmussen will also send out Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Hargill, who broke his maiden June 2 at Churchill. The son of El Corredor finished fourth in his first start April 6, then was second to Little Nick May 5 when the Dale Romans trainee broke his maiden at Churchill.
Romans sends four starters, including Little Nick, to challenge Asmussen’s contingent Saturday.
Little Nick, a son of Tiger Ridge, comes off the maiden victory last time out at Churchill May 5, while Dr. Nick, a son of Authenticate, broke his maiden in his only start thus far May 19 for owner Jerry Crawford.
Both head to the Bashford Manor, where Flight Ruler, Miss Missile, Kadira, and Dreabons Legacy round out the field.
In the Debutante, Asmussen saddles the unbeaten Rated Fiesty, winner of the May 3 Kentucky Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III). A daughter of Exchange Rate bred and owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, the filly is 2-for-2 in Kentucky, with wins coming at Churchill and Keeneland this spring.
The filly will be joined by stablemate Wonderful Luck, a daughter of Trust N Luck owned by Gullbram Shamrock Stables. The 2005 Keeneland November breeding stock sale purchase has two wins and a fourth from three career starts, her most recent coming in the May 27 Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Romans’ Debutante starters are North Star Equine’s American County and McKee Stables’ Love Buzz. American County comes off a third-place finish in a June 15 allowance at Churchill, and has a 1-1-2 record from four starts. Love Buzz was fourth, beaten 8 ½-lengths last time out in the same allowance. She was sixth in the Kentucky Breeders’ Cup before that, and has not won since her initial start at Keeneland April 13.
Other Debutante starters are Todd Pletcher trainee Motovato, Ascot Hall, and Blackberry Road.
Debutante Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, Approximate post 4:27 p.m.), $100,000 for 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs on the dirt
1. Wonderful Luck, Corey Lanerie, 122
2. Love Buzz, Mark Guidry, 118
3. American County, Jamie Theriot, 118
4. Flight Ruler, Calvin Borel, 118
5. Rated Fiesty, Shaun Bridgmohan, 122
6. Miss Missile, Justin Shepherd, 120
7. Kadira, Larry Melancon, 118
8. Dreabons Legacy, Miguel Mena, 118
Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, Approximate Post 5:29 p.m.) $150,000 for 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs on the dirt
1. Little Nick, Miguel Mena, 118
2. Hargill, Shaun Bridgmohan, 118
3. Motovato, Larry Melancon, 118
4. Kodiak Kowboy, Corey Lanerie, 122
5. Crackalackin, Jamie Theriot, 116
6. Ascot Hall, Calvin Borel, 118
7. Blackberry Road, Jesus Lopez Castanon, 118
8. Dr. Nick, Mark Guidry, 118