Favored Lunarpal made it look easy, coasting home by five lengths in the $115,400 Three Chimneys Juvenile on the Kentucky Derby day undercard.
The race normally draws a large field but this year only saw five go postward after the scratches of Just As Ready and Thenardier.
Shane Sellers hustled Lunarpal to the lead, easily catching Classic Elegance, who led through the opening quarter-mile with Jerry Bailey. Classic Elegance broke inside of the winner and made the lead. Lunarpal went by when asked and was never challenged.
Gallant Secret came on for second and Classic Elegance held on for third.
Lunarpal, bred in Florida by Bill Heiligbrodt and owned by he and his wife, Corinne, is by Successful Appeal
out of the Quiet American
mare Quiet Eclipse.
It was the fourth win in the race, formerly called the WHAS, for the Heiligbrodts, who were victorious in 1989 with Appealing Breeze, in 1990 with Richman, and in 1992 with Tempered Halo (all owned in partnership). It was the first win in the race for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The bay won his his only other start, a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event at Keeneland April 18, by seven lengths. He collected $71,548 for Saturday's victory.
Lunarpal ran the five furlongs in :57.98 after fractions of :21.75 and :45.17. He paid $4.60, $3.40, and $2.40. Gallant Secret returned $5.80 and $2.60, while favored Classic Elegance paid $2.40.
Limehouse, who won the Three Chimneys last year, will run later on the card in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
"This is a very talented horse and I hope we can do well coming out of this race as Todd (Pletcher) did with (Kentucky Derby starter) Limehouse," Asmussen said. "The way he ran here and with us being here, I definitely want to keep him here."