Steve Asmussen

Steve Asmussen

Anne M. Eberhardt

Asmussen, Bridgmohan Dominate at FG

The trainer-jockey tandem combined to take six races and all four stakes Dec. 22

The inaugural “Santa Sprint Saturday” package at Fair Grounds turned into a two-man show Dec. 22, as trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan combined to sweep all four $100,000 dirt stakes and rack up a whopping six victories on the 10-race card.

The spectacular duo narrowly missed a seventh win in the finale, losing by a nose in a maiden special weight. As it was, Asmussen set the track record for wins in a day by a trainer and Bridgmohan became the ninth jockey to win six on a card at Fair Grounds.

“It was a great day, an absolutely great day,” said Bridgmohan at the end of the program. “Thanks to Steve and his crew, this was a phenomenal day.”

After taking claiming races in the second and third races, Asmussen and Bridgmohan began their stakes bonanza in the Sugar Bowl, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds. They sent out Trippicolt Sok Sok, who was entering off a fourth place finish in the Oct. 28 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Sok Sok, as the 4-5 favorite, stalked the pace set by Harlans Fortune, took over near the top of the stretch and easily pulled away from the eight-horse field to win by 8 ¾ lengths.

Out of Great Above mare Vaca  Sagrada, Sok Sok won for Savorthetime Stables, stopping the clock in 1:09.44. He was bred in Florida by Phil and Karen Matthews.

Liberty Bull finished second, while Ben and the Twin was third by a head.

In the following event, the Letellier Memorial, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies, the dynamic duo of Asmussen and Bridgmohan sent out even-money favorite Blitzing, a daughter of Montbrook. This time, Bridgmohan took Blitzing right to the lead, setting ambitious fractions of :21.60 and :45.38.

Blitzing, who was coming off an allowance score at Churchill Nov. 24, opened up by 2 ½ at the top of the stretch and then easily pulled away from her 10 challengers to win by 7 ½ lengths. The final time was 1:10.79.

Out of Twilight Agenda mare We Are Strike Ng, Blitzing won for the third time in five career starts for JMJ Racing Stable and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, who also bred the filly.

Syriana’s Song was a distant second, followed by La Wildcat and Roseaguska.

The third stakes was the Esplanade, a 5 ½-furlong sprint for older females. Asmussen and Bridgmohan had 2-1 favorite Tres Dream in this one. A 3-year-old filly by Chester House, Tres Dream sat well off the lead in the backstretch, while High Heritage set the early pace.

But after lacking early speed, Tres Dream picked it up around the far turn, as Bridgmohan angled her four-wide during an explosive move. Now third at the top of the stretch, Tres Dream charged towards High Heritage and Chatham in the final furlong, overtaking the leaders in the final sixteenth to get up by 2 ¾ lengths.

Bred in Kentucky by ClassicStar, Tres Dream is also owned by Savorthetime Stables. She won for the fifth time in 12 starts and captured her second stakes.

In the stakes finale, Asmussen and Bridgmohan again had the favorite, Stormin Baghdad, who went off at 2-1 in the Bonapaw, which was taken off the turf and moved to the main track.

The last one proved to be the toughest, as Stormin Baghdad had to rally along the rail in the final yards to get up by a half length over Natural Speed. Fittingly, Natural Speed is also trained by Asmussen.

A 3-year-old son of Stormin Fever, Stormin Baghdad completed the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04.03, winning for the third consecutive time. Most recently, he had tasted victory in the Nov. 22 Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds.

Storming Fever is a Kentucky homebred of Midnight Cry Stables.

In the 10th and final race, a maiden event for 2-year-olds, Asmussen and Bridgomohan sent out Stonestreet Song. After a fierce stretch duel, the photo finish went to Cadet Gold, who was strongly ridden by Robby Albarado.

It was the only thing all afternoon that did not go Asmussen and Bridgmohan’s way.