Trainer Asmussen Chasing History With Quality Quartet

November 2, 2022

Grand Love heading out for a work at Keeneland on Wednesday. Coady Photography

Echo Zulu, Grand Love in Juvenile Fillies; Clairiere, Society in Distaff

Breeders’ Cup Notes/Edited           

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Two of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s eight Breeders’ Cup wins have come in the Juvenile Fillies, including last year with Echo Zulu, and he will be seeking a third with Three Chimneys Farm’s Grand Love. The Gun Runner filly broke her maiden at first asking by 4 ¾ lengths at Saratoga Aug. 21, but then disappointed as the favorite in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs Sept. 17. 

“She’s coming off a third in the Pocahontas, a race where we expected better,” Asmussen said. “She’s a very talented filly. She drew nine of 14. It’s going to be a very interesting Juvenile Fillies with the run to the first turn.”

Society Wednesday morning at Keeneland. Coady Photography

Asmussen, who won his one and only Distaff in 2014 with Untapable, has two chances this year with the 4yo Clairiere, who ran fourth in the race last year coming off a win in the Cotillion Stakes and the 3yo Society, who will try to better her stablemate coming off her own victory in the $1 million race at Parx.

“She’s obviously coming off two very fast races,” Asmussen said of Peter Blum’s Society. “She’s trained really well over this racetrack. It’s just an unbelievably accomplished group of older mares this year, but she’s running as fast as anybody, and we’re excited about trying her.”

Stonestreet Stable’s Clairiere, who has won two Grade 1s and was second in another, is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 27, the only time in her 15-race career she was worse than fourth. That day she was uncharacteristically fractious in gate.

“It caught us off guard,” Asmussen said of the incident. “We pride ourselves on how they act and how well their school. That is 100 percent our responsibility and we feel that we have that base covered. If we have if we’re fortunate enough to have success in the Distaff, we will be extremely pleased that it happened last time and not this.”

Steve Asmussen interview with Past The Wire

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