By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permissionEverybody needs a reason. Steve Asmussen's was a little chestnut filly with a smidgen of white between her eyes. Cashier's Dream convinced Asmussen to try Saratoga for the first time. With five days left in the meet, Asmussen's horses had won a quarter of their starts at the Spa, knocking out six winners to break the top 10. And the ticket puncher, Cashier's Dream wasn't one of them. She'll get her second chance today in the Grade I Spinaway, a seven-furlong stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Donnie Meche rides the daughter of Service Stripe for Heiligbrodt Racing and Team Valor in the $200,000 race. Cashier's Dream went off as the 65 cents on the dollar favorite for the Adirondack on August 13. She ran a winning a race but was beaten in the last few jumps by the Bobby Frankel-trained You while giving away seven pounds. And it was right in the middle of that Frankel cyclone. You sits this one out
and leaves Cashier's Dream as an absolute standout. "We're pleased with how she's trained,. She's eaten real well since and her energy level has been consistent. We're a little anxious about it," Asmussen said as he leaned on the saddle rail at his barn. "When Cashier's Dream won the Debutante at Churchill, it sealed the fate of jumping in with both feet. We felt like she was worthy of the races up here and I think she's proven that, even without winning."Cashier's Dream was hounded every step by You in the Adirondack, banging out fractions of 21 3/5 and 44 3/5. They finished 15 lengths clear of the third horse. "All that last time taught me was no matter how fast I think she's going to run, it doesn't guarantee that she'll win," Asmussen said. "I feel great about how fast she's going to run but last time taught me that it's Saratoga and they're going to show up and run their race and you're going to have do everything right, run your A race and still get lucky." Magic Storm was the third horse in the Adirondack,. She comes back today for Wayne Lukas and Jerry Bailey. Smok‚n Frolic, who finished fifth in the Adirondack, returns for Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. Ben Perkins ships Al Max Diner in from Monmouth after finishing second in the Colleen Stakes there. Jorge Chavez rides her for the first time. Spirit And Soul, Win's Fair Lady and Pieceofperfection come in off maiden victories.Asmussen recognized the possible effects a loss would have on Cashier's Dream's psyche. "We'd be amiss if we didn't say there's somewhat of an adjustment for her, how she'll respond to her first defeat," Asmussen said. "We acknowledge that but we're very comfortable in how she's traveling and that she hasn't missed her feed since. I think that's very important with a filly of her size. There isn't a lot to her but mentally she's proven to be very durable. She was as sharp as a tack yesterday and she's where I want her to be." It seems the whole, or at least most, of the stable is. "They've run their races," Asmussen said. "I have some of the wrong horses here but hopefully we'll learn from that and do a better job at bringing the right ones next year. We felt like we had a nice group of young horses that deserved the opportunity and it's a very good measure of how far you have yet to come." Today, Cashier's Dream will show if she's already there.Contact Sean Clancy via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 518-581-1947.