Forrest G. Breaks Through, Asmussen Continues Roll in TTA Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park

(June 11,2005) - Forrest G., a 33-1 longshot ridden by Casey Lambert, powered home in the stretch to win Saturday's $135,450 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Two races earlier in the $131,500 fillies division, the Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt-owned entry of Covered in Clover and September in Texas ran one-two and gave trainer Steve Asmussen his sixth win in the last seven runnings of the race.

A fight for the early lead ensued in the colts and geldings division with no more than two lengths separating six of the 10 runners at the three-eighths pole in the five-furlong race. Forrest G. chased the leaders from the outside and swung out in the stretch to close strongly in :57.54 under Lambert, who tallied his seventh career 2-year-old stakes win at Lone Star Park since 1998. He paid $68.20 to win.

"He broke exceptional and laid right behind them," Lambert said. "They were jamming up a little bit in front of us and we stepped outside of them and picked them up pretty fast down the lane."

Lord Vicar finished second 2 ½ lengths behind Forrest G. and a nose in front of third-place finisher D Denton. Premier Dance, the 4-5 favorite after a powerful 5 ¼-length win in a May 26 trial, had a short lead with a quarter-mile to go, but faded to sixth.

"[Jockey Eddie Martin Jr.] had to ride him every step of the way," said Premier Dance's new trainer Cody Autrey. Autrey and owner Charles Fletcher purchased the colt earlier this week for an undisclosed sum. "There was speed from all sides. He just came up empty in the stretch."

The victory by Forrest G., worth $81,270, was his first for trainer Marvin Hayes, who co-owns the gelded Texas-bred son of Truluck with Terry Wood of Decatur, Texas. In his only other start, Forrest G. finished third and was beaten by Lord Vicar in their May 26 trial.

"The colt is just a bid old baby," Hayes said. "He's got a lot of growth in front of him. He's a good colt right now and he's going to get better."

In the fillies division, Covered in Clover, ridden by the red-hot Jaime Theriot, out-dueled stablemate September in Texas by 1 ¼ lengths in :57.69. Like Forrest G., it was her first win.

The entry paid $2.60 to win. The winner's share for Covered in Clover was worth $78,900.

For the Heiligbrodts, residents of Houston, it was their fourth TTA Sales Futurity victory. They owned last year's colts and geldings winner Expect Will and two fillies winners, Bluegrass Sara in 2003 and Louetta in 2000.

Asmussen, the national win-leader, has dominated the race since Maddie's Promise and Tioga ran one-two in 1999. His other wins in the fillies division came with Louetta, Smoke Buster (2001), Bluegrass Sara and Berdelia (2004).

"We've been very fortunate to have a lot of success in the race," Asmussen said. "Mr. and Mrs. Heiligbrodt have an outstanding program. We've been fortunate to run some of the mares and their siblings in these types of races. Darren Flemming, my assistant, and the rest of the staff did a great job with all these two-year-olds and they performed today when the money was on the line."

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