|Asheville Triumphs in $30,000 Jiffy Lube Stakes at SHRP
(Saturday, November 2, 2002) - For the third time in four
years, the $30,000 Jiffy Lube Stakes, was forced off its intended
track surface, the Connally Turf Course. The persistent rain that
has pounded the Houston area for the last two weeks resumed this
evening and the feature was moved to the main track.
Asheville, trained by 2001/2002 Sam Houston Race Park leading trainer,
Steve Asmussen, relished the sloppy track and captured the first
stakes of her career for owner Nelson Bunker Hunt. Jockey Casey
Lambert was in the irons, guiding the 4-year-old filly to victory
over the mile-and-one sixteenth distance in a time of 1:45.52.
"I think that it was probably to her liking that the race
came off the turf," said Lambert. "She had run several
times on the grass and ran creditable races each time, but she had
never won. She broke exceptionally well and was comfortable the
Pleasant State, under rider Roman Chapa, ran second for trainer
Ramon Flores. Owned by RSSI Racing, the 7-year-old mare won the
$50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes last February at Sam Houston Race Park
and the $75,000 Irving Distaff at Lone Star Park. last April. She
was given a break and returned to action at Retama Park on October
19, where she finished fifth.
"She got tired on me," admitted Chapa. "I had to
fight her most of the way to try to get her to relax. I think that
took a little bit out of her. She needed that race though, coming
off of her layoff. The last race she ran in, didn't get anything
out of her. This race she just got flat on me. She usually comes
off the pace, today she just went to the front and I tried to slow
her down. I just had to fight her the whole way."
Lisa’s Approval owned by Peter A. Wilson, with former Sam
Houston Race Park leading rider Steve Bourque up, completed the
trifecta. Bourque was returning for his first race in nine weeks
due to an injury that required surgery on his neck and hand.
"The "one horse" stumbled leaving there and my horse
got shuffled back a little," said Bourque. "She gave me
all she had. She finishes better on turf, but she ran a good race."
Asheville, sent off as the favorite, paid $5.40 to win, $3.00 to
place and $2.60 to show. The 7-11 exacta returned $16.20. The trifecta
paid $62.60. Completing the order of finish were Key Mark, Tara
Gold, Susue Sue and Solo Attack. Euryanthe, Cocoa Creek, Golden
Rhythm and Renaissance Fair were all scratched when the race was
taken off the Connally Turf Course.