Grand Slam Andre
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park
Grand Slam Andre Wins $75,000 Middleground and Earns Two-Year-Old Male Horse of the Meet Honors at LSP

Grand Prairie, Texas (Sunday, July 26, 2009) - J. Kirk Robison’s Grand Slam Andre, trained by Steve Asmussen, was a decisive winner of the 13th running of the $75,000 Middleground Stakes, for 2-year-olds, going six furlongs over a fast track at Lone Star Park on Sunday.

With Eguard Tejera aboard, Grand Slam Andre broke outward at the start but was able to get into position just behind and outside of early leaders Western Forum and Big Texas Daddy through early fractions of 22.89 and 45.62. While racing three-wide around the turn, the chestnut son of Grand Slam slowly turned up the heat on the pacesetters nearing the stretch, and with a little more than a furlong to run, Grand Slam Andre switched to his right lead and proved to be too much for his six rivals in recording a three-length victory. The final time for the six-furlong assignment was 1:10.48. Longshot Lone Star Cowboy nosed out Western Forum for the place prize.

“He ran great today,” said assistant trainer Darren Fleming. “We were expecting a race like this out of him. He had some bad luck in his last race (Grade 3 Bashford Manner at Churchill Downs) and Steve (winning trainer Steve Asmussen) had him shipped here to give him a chance to redeem himself.”

“This was the first time I’ve ever ridden this horse, I haven’t even worked him or anything, but I knew he was a fast horse,” added winning jockey Eguard Tejera. “I just let those other two horses go ahead of him, let him sit behind them early on, and he gave me a big finish.”

With the victory, Grand Slam Andre gave winning trainer Steve Asmussen his 117th win at the 2009 Lone Star Park Meeting, setting a single season record for wins previously held by Cole Norman, who recorded 98 victories during the 2003 spring meeting. Grand Slam Andre improved his record to two wins from four starts, and the $45,000 winner’s share increased his earnings to $84,784.

Grand Slam Andre paid $6.60, $5.00, $3.20, runner-up Lone Star Cowboy returned $14.00, $6.20, and Western Forum paid $3.20 for show. Big Texas Daddy, Smoothing Iron, Valid in Progress, and Scottevan (DNF) completed the order of finish.

Sunday, July 26 was the closing day of the Lone Star Park’s 2009 Spring Thoroughbred Season. Lone Star Park’s 31-day, 2009 Quarter Horse Fall Meeting of Champions will be held from Sept. 25 to Nov. 28.

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