Apparently trainer Steve Asmussen has recently taught the 4-year-old colt how to win, as evidenced by consecutive stakes scores, including his 4 3/4-length romp in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap Jan. 26 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Owned by Cathy and Bob Zollars, Reporting for Duty entered the Gold Cup off a 4 ½-length triumph in the Dec. 8 Zia Park Derby. That victory was his first since breaking his maiden in September 2006. The nine races in between saw the son of Deputy Commanderfinish in the money six times, including five times a bridesmaid. One of those second place finishes was in the April 7 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Park.
In the Gold Cup, a 1 1/8-mile test on the main track, Reporting for Duty came from well off the pace under Luis Quinonez. He was fifth in a six-horse field after three quarters, which was set by Goosey Moose in 1:12.39. Reporting for Duty began his move on the inside of the far turn, then was swung four-wide at the top of the lane.
Reporting for Duty caught 4-5 favorite Honest Man in mid-stretch and easily drew off for the victory. The final time was 1:52.33.
Red Rock Creek, also trained by Asmussen, was two lengths in front of Goosey Moose for second. Tap Dancing Mauk picked up fourth, three-quarters of a length in front of Honest Man, who tired late. Gold Wonder was last.
Out of Distant View mare Expanse, Reporting for Duty has now earned $366,846 from 14 starts. A $60,000 purchase at the Keeneland 2005 September Yearling Sale, he was bred in Kentucky by McMillin Brothers and James Devaney.
The chestnut colt paid $6.40, $4, and $2.40 as a coupled entry with Red Rock Creek. The exacta (1-3) with Goosey Moose returned $30.20.