Forty Grams
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Alice Belle
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Asmussen One-Two as Forty Grams Wins $100,000 Alysheba at Lone Star

(June 30, 2007) - Forty Grams grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch and kicked clear inside the final eighth of a mile to beat stablemate Takedown by 1 ¾ lengths in Saturday's $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Both horses are trained by Steve Asmussen, who won the Alysheba for a record fourth time.

One race earlier, John Locke saddled the first and second-place finishers, Alice Belle and Katys Gold Touch, respectively, in the $50,000 Lone Star Oaks.

Forty Grams, patiently positioned behind in fourth by jockey Cliff Berry before making his winning move on the final turn, ran one mile in 1:38.79 over a surface labeled "good." The 3-year-old son of Distorted Humor paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 as the odds-on 3-5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-olds.

"He's a very nice horse and we had very high expectations for him, enough to give him a try along the Derby trail early this year," Asmussen said. "He ran some nice races but he's probably best at a mile. Hopefully, this win will give him the confidence to move forward and prove quite worthy in the division."

It was the third win in 10 career starts for Takedown, who most recently finished fifth in the Grade II Ohio Derby after third-place finishes in the Grade II Lexington Stakes, Grade III Lone Star Derby and $600,000 WinStar Derby. The $60,000 winner's share of the purse jumped his career bankroll to $283,175 for owners Alan Pesch, George Bolton and Fog City Stables.

Takedown, under Glen Murphy, rallied from far back for second and returned $3.40 and $2.60. Strong City, with Quincy Hamilton in the irons, also closed well to get third and paid $2.60. Crosstown, Gold Wonder and Cherokee Wind completed the order of finish. Hadacure and Game of Skill were scratched.

In the Lone Star Oaks, Alice Belle, ridden by Richard Eramia, came four-wide in the stretch and closed strongly to beat entry-mate Katys Gold Touch by a half-length. The Street Cry filly ran 1 1/16 miles over "soft" turf in 1:44.62, and the entry returned $6, $9 and $6.80. Kid Magic was third and paid $6.

It was Alice Belle's first try against stakes company and the $18,000 yearling purchase improved her record to four wins in six starts for owners Peggy and Albert Serviss. The $30,000 winner's share increased her earnings to $71,820.


The Lone Star Oaks outcome provided Locke with some solace. "That'll put a smile on your face," Locke said. "I was having a bad day before that."

Earlier in the day, he learned that 13-year-old gelding Proven Cure would not be permitted to start in Wednesday's $50,000 Lone Star Park Turf Sprint Stakes by Texas Racing Commission stewards due a rule in The Texas Racing Act. Section 313.111 states that "a horse that is more than 12 years of age may not start in a pari-mutuel races in this state, unless the horse has won a race during the 12-month period preceding the race in which the horse is to start."

Despite winning eight of 16 starts and $167,600 since turning age 11, Proven Cure hadn't won in four starts since prevailing in the $40,000 Littlebitlively Stakes on April 22, 2006 at Lone Star Park. In that race, the durable Kentucky-bred became only the fifth horse since 1976 to win a stakes race at age 12.

On Wednesday, he would have attempted to become the first horse in the last 30 years to have won a stakes race at age 13. Entries will be taken for the five-furlong grass race on Sunday morning.

Most recently, Proven Cure - a winner of 21 races and $748,081 in 89 races since starting his career May 7, 1997 at Churchill Downs - finished fourth in the $45,000 Honor the Hero Turf Express Stakes at Canterbury Park on Memorial Day (May 28).

"I had thought the rule was amended earlier this year, but it wasn't," Locke said. "It's too bad because we were really looking forward to running him Wednesday. I really think the rule should be amended in the future because there shouldn't be a mandatory retirement age. Since his last win, Proven Cure has run third and fourth in stakes races and was beaten only a head in an allowance here this meet."

Due to the statute in The Texas Racing Act, Proven Cure's head loss to Greggo on April 20 at Lone Star, just two days before he became ineligible, cost him a chance at history - for now at least.

"We'll have to group and I'll talk to (owner) Dr. (William) Reed," Locke said. "Maybe we can take him up to Remington in August, but I'll have to check the eligibility rules for Oklahoma. We also could send him back to Canterbury because we know he's eligible there."

Live racing at Lone Star Park continues Sunday at 1:35 p.m. There will be no racing Monday, but there are special 5 p.m. twilight programs featuring post-race holiday fireworks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Racing will continue Thursday and Friday night at 6:35 p.m., followed by weekend action on Saturday, July 7 (Stars of Texas Day) and Sunday, July 8 at 1:35 p.m.

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