|Asmussen Duo Favored in Closing
Day $75,000 Middleground Stakes at LSP
July 24, 2009) - Ackerley Brothers Farm’s Big Texas Daddy
and J. Kirk Robison’s Grand Slam Andre, both trained by Steve
Asmussen, headline the 13th running of the $75,000 Middleground
Stakes, to be run at six furlongs, for two-year-olds at Lone Star
Park on Saturday. With a win in the Middleground, Big Texas Daddy
would cement his standing as the top two-year-old to perform at
the 2009 Lone Star Park Meeting. The bay son of Valid Expectations
has started his career a perfect two-for-two, including a sharp
score in the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes in his most recent outing
here on July 11.
Asmussen, who set a new single season record for wins at the 2009
Lone Star Park spring meeting by eclipsing the previous mark of
98 victories set by Cole Norman in 2003, will also send out Grand
Slam Andre in the Middleground. An impressive maiden winner at Churchill
Downs back in June, Grand Slam Andre was last seen finishing fourth
in the Grade 3 Bashford Manner at the Louisville, Kentucky-based
Another of note in the Middleground, is the Bret Calhoun-trained
Western Forum, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Big
Texas Daddy in the Texas Stallion Stakes.
The field from the rail out, with jockey and morning line odds
listed in parenthesis, consists of: Big Texas Daddy (Chris Landeros,
8-5); Range War (Cliff Berry, 8-1); Lone Star Cowboy (Bryan McNeil,
15-1); Smoothing Iron (T. L. Collier, 20-1); Scottevan (Larry Taylor,
20-1); Fast Serve (Cliff Berry, 7-5); Valid in Progress (Bobby Walker
Jr., 30-1); Western Forum (Eddie Martin Jr., 3-1); and Grand Slam
Andre (Eguard Tejera, 2-1).
Scheduled as race nine on the 10-race program, the Middleground
Stakes has an approximate post time of 5:19 p.m. CDT.
Lone Star Park’s 2009 Spring Thoroughbred Season ends on
Sunday, July 26. Lone Star Park’s 31-day, 2009 Quarter Horse
Fall Meeting of Champions will be held from September 25 to November