Led by Cuvee, Asmussen Runners Tune Up at Churchill

Edited from track reports
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Cuvee, who looms as a heavy favorite in Sunday's 102nd running of the $125,000-added Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds, finished his major preparation for the six furlong race with a Monday work at Churchill Downs.

The unbeaten son of Carson City, whose two victories include the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, breezed four furlongs in :49.80 over a "fast" track under jockey Lonnie Meche. Trainer Steve Asmussen was pleased with the effort and now looks forward to Sunday's race.

"It's what he's prepped for and what he's been here for and he's sure done nothing to disappoint us in his first two races," said Asmussen. "He's still Cuvee. We're still thinking the same things."

Asmussen said the proposed sale of half-interest in Cuvee is still pending. He said he does not expect the deal to be finalized before the Bashford Manor.

Also breezing on Monday was Grunwald Racing's Sweet Jo Jo, who will run in Friday's $100,000-added Debutante (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies. The daughter of Grand Slam, who scored an easy victory at Lone Star Park in her only start, breezed a sharp half-mile in :48.70 under Meche, the fourth fastest move of 40 at the distance.

"She's up against it," said Asmussen. "She's a very talented filly, but it's really hard to come in here and get one work and run in a graded stake, but she went great over the track this morning. She worked super."

Most of the stars of Asmussen's powerful Churchill Downs stable were out for works on Tuesday. Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Lady Tak, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) and a troubled runner-up to Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Bird Town in the Acorn (gr. I), breezed four furlongs under Meche in :51. Lady Tak is scheduled to run next in the Test (gr. I) at Saratoga.

Posse, Heiligbrodt Racing's winner of the Matt Winn Stakes and Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II), breezed four furlongs in :50 with Meche aboard. Asmussen said he would run next in the King's Bishop (gr. I) at Saratoga.