|Expect Will Gives Asmussen Juvenile
Stakes Sweep on Closing Day at Lone Star Park
11, 2004) - Expect Will remained undefeated with a win in the
$125,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Stallion Stakes
on closing day at Lone Star Park, giving trainer Steve Asmussen
a clean sweep of all four 2-year-old stakes at the Spring Thoroughbred
"What a year," Asmussen remarked. "I can't say enough.
That was our ninth two-year-old stakes win of the year. We won all
three of the stakes at Churchill [with Lunarpal] and all four of
them here. That's all you could have hoped for. We loved our two-year-olds
coming into the year and they definitely showed up."
Expect Will went off as the slight 2-1 betting favorite over his
rival Expect Wings. The pair of Valid Expectations colts finished
a nose apart in last month's Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales
"I was really surprised he wasn't the favorite," Asmussen
said of Expect Will. "What else do they want him to do?"
Expect Will did exactly what he's done all season. He tracked the
early pace and waited for jockey Jeremy Beasley's cue before kicking
past the early leaders in the stretch.
"It set up perfect," Beasley said. "I just had to
wait for the right time to let him go. What more could you ask for
out of a two-year-old? To run like that, I think there's a deep
well of talent that hasn't fully been tapped yet. I'm excited to
see what he can really do."
Expect Will ran the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04.28, finishing a
half-length in front of 3-1 third choice Leaving On My Mind, who
also stalked the early pace but didn't have enough left at the end.
"In tight spots he's kind of timid," jockey Roman Chapa
said of Leaving On My Mind. "He was on the inside of that horse
on the backstretch and he kept wanting to look and see what was
on the outside of him. But he ran a game race other than that."
Expect Wings was another half-length back in third, followed by
Dixie Meister, Valid Virtue, Purely Magical, Temporary Zone, Red
Birds Big Hart and Vicissitude. Paloo was scratched, leaving Asmussen
with three starters in the race.
Expect Will, owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, paid $6.40 to
win for a $2 wager.