Expect Will Gives Asmussen Juvenile Stakes Sweep on Closing Day at Lone Star Park

(July 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 Season.

"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 Futurity.

"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.

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