Asi Siempre Always Best in Spinster Surprise

Martin S. Schwartz's Asi Siempre, off the lawn for the first time in her 15-race career, strode away to a convincing victory in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) on the all-weather track at Keeneland Sunday.

Ridden by Julien Leparaoux for trainer Patrick Biancone, Asi Siempre was fifth between horses coming off the far turn. She angled five or six wide to challenge as the contenders spread across the track and emerged from the pack to take control approaching the eighth pole. She won going away under slight urging by 2 1/4 lengths over the late closing Soul Search. The runner-up finished a neck in front of Promenade Girl.

"My French connection strikes again," said an overjoyed Schwartz afterward. He said no decision on the Breeders' Cup has been made, since he already has Lady of Venice and Gorella as strong candidates for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

The final time for the 1 1/8-mile test for fillies and mares was 1:51 4/5.

Favored Happy Ticket dropped out early while the second choice, Spun Sugar, tired in the stretch.

Summerly, with Spun Sugar and Happy Ticket in pursuit, set slow fractions of :25, :50 2/5 and 1:116 1/5.

The 4-year-old Asi Siempre was a grade III winner last year on the grass after starting her career in France. The gray daughter of El Prado--Siempre Asi (Silver Hawk) was coming off a third-place finish in Saratoga's Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 26, 2 1/4 lengths behind My Typhoon.

Asi Siempre, who nearly doubled her earnings to $646,016 with her sixth lifetime win, paid $11, $5.80 and $4.60. Soul Search, ridden by Robby Albarado, returned $17.80 and $7.80. Promenade Girl, Jeremy Rose aboard, was $6 to show.

Sharp Lisa lacked much response in the stretch to finish fourth, followed by Lemons Forever, the 8-5 choice Happy Ticket, Summerly, Spun Sugar and Island Escape.

(Chart, Equibase)