LOUISVILLE, KY – Whispering Oaks Farm’s Sir Truebadour performed beautifully while giving trainer Steve Asmussen his record-tying fifth victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 4 as the 3-2 favorite under Ricardo Santana, Jr., Sir Truebadour was bumped slightly when Mr Chocolate Chip broke awkwardly from gate 5 but quickly collected himself and took command to post splits of :21.35 and :45.63 for the opening 1/2-mile. Beginning to separate as he exited the far turn, Sir Truebadour gradually increased his lead for much of the stretch. Though he began to tire in the final 1/16 of a mile, he had already built up enough of a lead that he was able to cross with a 2-length advantage in a final time of 1:12.77 for the 6-furlong main track event for juveniles.
“Steve and his team did a great job with this horse,” said Santana, Jr. “It was a great win today. He is very fast early and got the lead nicely out of the gate. He got a little tired late but held on nicely to win.”
Mr Chocolate Chip and Overanalyzer, both sent off at odds of 99-1, made late charges to take second and third, respectively, resulting in a $2 exacta of $305.20 and a $0.50 trifecta of $2,153.65. Cat Addiction took fourth in a close finish over Weiland, The Song of John, Dalliance, and Shanghaied Roo. Ninth went to Baytown Glory over Toothless Wonder, with Eye Cloud and Mr. Granite completing the order of finish.
Sir Truebadour’s win was his second in three career races, with his lone loss coming last out in the $150,000 Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old son of More Than Ready was purchased for $300,000 as a yearling, so Asmussen’s hopes and expectations were high.
“We aimed to this race since he broke his maiden,” Asmussen said. “It’s great to win a graded stakes race. He got a little tired late, but it was a great win.”
Sir Truebadour returned $5 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3 to show. Mr Chocolate Chip brought back $52 to place and $17 to show, while Overanalyzer paid $13.60 to show.