Be a Resident Narrowly Defeats Grade III Champ Datrick at Lone Star; Asmussen Tabs Seventh Fillies Win with Miss Mary Pat

(June 10, 2006) - Be a Resident finished a nose in front of Grade III stakes champ Datrick to win the colts and geldings division of the $99,640 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity before a crowd of 10,011 on Saturday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Two races later, Miss Mary Pat ran faster than he male counterparts and gave trainer Steve Asmussen his seventh victory in the last eight runnings of the fillies division.

Be a Resident, ridden by Lone Star's leading rider Cliff Berry and carrying 118 pounds, ran five furlongs in :58.50 and paid $6.60, $2.60 and $2.20. The Asmussen-trained Datrick, with Jaime Theriot up, returned $2.60 and $2.10. Austin Lights, piloted by Quincy Hamilton, was another 1 ¼ lengths behind in third and paid $5.

The win was the second in as many starts for Be a Resident, who won his debut - a May 26 trial for Saturday's final - by 3 ¼ lengths. The Texas-bred gelding, a son of Open Forum out of the Western Trick mare Western Lil, earned $59,784 for the victory and raised his earnings to $70,584 for owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, who both reside in Dallas.

"Be A Resident has a lot of class, a lot of courage, he just refused to lose," said trainer Bret Calhoun, who also won the male division of the TTA Sales Futurity in 2003 with Next Bandit. Calhoun also is the trainer of third-place finisher Austin Lights and Devils Warrior, who faded to eighth after contesting the lead early on.

Datrick, victorious in the Grade III Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes on Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs, was sent postward as the odds-on 4-5 favorite with a perfect record of three wins in three starts. Be a Resident, part of an entry that was the 2-1 second choice, was hustled from the start and dueled between Devils Warrior (inside) and Datrick (outside) through fractions of :21.78 for a quarter mile and :45.65 for the half. Be a Resident and Datrick battled through the stretch with the favorite taking a slight advantage with a furlong to run. Be a Resident, however, was resilient and fought back under Berry's strong left-handed urging.

"He dug in when Datrick came on," Berry said.

Theriot thought an unexpected switch of Datrick's lead foot cost him the race. "He jumped back to his left lead (leg) two jumps before the wire, and that bobble, I think cost him the head-bob."

Asmussen and Datrick's Houston-based owners Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt were redeemed in the $111,330 fillies division when Miss Mary Pat wore down longshot pacesetter Wrenice and rolled to a 2 ½-length triumph in :58.28 -- .22 hundredths of a second faster than the Be a Resident's clocking.

"She left there really sharp," said winning rider Quincy Hamilton, who tacked 118 pounds. "There were others that were faster into stride. She settled back behind them, relaxed great and when I called on her at the top of the lane, she was very responsive."

Miss Mary Pat paid $5.40, $3.80 and $3.20. Wrenice, at odds of 37-1 under jockey Bobby Walker Jr., returned $29.60 and $11.20. Expect an Echo, a 26-1 outsider, was another 5 ¾ lengths back in third and paid $8.60.

It was the second win in three starts for Miss Mary Pat, a promising Kentucky-bred daughter of Service Stripe who is co-owned by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms of Austin, Texas. The $66,798 winner's share of the purse jumped her career earnings to $77,598.

"We have pretty high aspirations for her, being a Service Stripe [filly]," said Asmussen, who is pursuing his eighth Lone Star training title. "She reminded me of the filly Cashier's Dream." Cashier's Dream was Asmussen's first Grade I winner when she captured the 2001 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. A winner in five of seven starts and $423,042 as a 2- and 3-year-old, she was co-owned by the Heiligbrodt's and Team Valor.

"Mr. Heiligbrodt purchased half of [Miss Mary Pat] from Ro hoping that we could have some success similar to that."

Four of Asmussen's seven winners in the TTA Sales Futurity fillies division have been owned by the Heiligbrodts. Their others came with Louetta (2000), Bluegrass Sara (2003) and Covered in Clover (2005). Asmussen won his first with Maddie's Promise (1999) and also succeeded with Smoke Buster (2001) and the Parra-owned Berdelia (2004).

Both Asmussen and Hamilton collected their sixth stakes wins of the Lone Star Park season, which is 40 days into the 66-date meeting.

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