11/21/2008 12:00AM

Asmussen carries Quinonez to the top


Jockey Luis Quinonez has won titles at Oaklawn Park and Canterbury, but never at his home track of Remington Park, where he has ridden on a regular basis since 1989. That should soon change. With just three weeks left in the meet, Quinonez has a double-digit advantage in the standings and the continued support of leading trainer Steve Asmussen.

"I can taste it now," said Quinonez, 41, who lives in Jones, Okla., with his wife, Gedda, and their four children. "It would be nice. This is home. If I can hang on to it, it would be very special."

Quinonez, who will be at Churchill on Thursday to ride Brownie Points in the Grade 2 Falls City, has compiled 2,747 career wins while taking five titles at Canterbury from 1995 to 1999. He added an Oaklawn title in 2007, and with a triple at Remington on Thursday night put his total number of wins for the meet at 62, 19 more than second-leading rider Quincy Hamilton.

"I've been real relaxed the whole meet, no pressure at all, and I think the horses sense that," said Quinonez. "They're relaxed, and they just run."

Quinonez has won 38 races for Asmussen, whom he first rode for in 1990 at Remington, about the same time he teamed up with longtime agent Gerry DiLaura. When Asmussen returned to Remington three years ago, he picked up right where he left off with Quinonez. They are now pushing 350 career wins together, and have a 26-percent win rate.

"Steve's been great to me," said Quinonez. "If you're going to ride for him, you're going to win races. His horses run good every time. I ride them with a lot of confidence."

Quinonez has five stakes wins at the meet, four of them for Asmussen. His other stakes win came on Brownie Points, in the $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial on Sept. 1. She is now sitting on $1 million in earnings, among her career highlights a runner-up finish to Zenyatta in April in the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn.

"My big mare," said Quinonez. "She just fires every time she runs. If she doesn't win, she's right there. She's been very consistent."

So has Quinonez, whose persistence at Remington should pay off with a meaningful title come Dec. 14.

Stonerside stock sells for Darley

The consignment of 22 broodmares and weanlings from Stonerside Stable in the Fasig-Tipton Texas auction at Lone Star Park on Dec. 14 will actually sell for Darley, which purchased the majority of Stonerside's assets, including its farm in Kentucky and the stable name "Stonerside" in a deal that closed Oct. 6.

"The mares and weanlings that will be sold are actually owned by Darley but under the Stonerside banner," said John Adger, the longtime racing and bloodstock manager for Stonerside who also does some consulting for Darley.

"This is the complete Texas operation," he said. "These are the mares we kept in Texas at Lane's End in Hempstead. We've had most of those mares there for several years, and all of the weanlings are accredited Texas-breds."

Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 221 horses to the winter mixed auction. Lane's End Texas will consign the Stonerside group, which is made up of 13 broodmares and nine weanlings, including Comedy at the Met, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Kela believed to be in foal to Too Much Bling, and My Michelle, a half-sister to graded winners Posen and Truluck believed to be in foal to Valid Expectations.

Stonerside, which had been owned by Bob and Janice McNair of Houston, achieved a significant feat last month by becoming one of just five outfits to ever breed two championship-race winners on a Breeders' Cup card, theirs coming with Raven's Pass in the Classic and Midshipman in the Juvenile. It was a fitting way to close out operations, said Adger, who has been with the McNairs since 1994.

"It was a great day for the Stonerside team, to kind of go out in a big way," he said.

Adger said the McNairs still have some interests in racing, with their Cowboy Cal set to run in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 30. He said the McNairs also have shares in several prominent stallions in Kentucky, as well as ownership interests in such stallions as Congaree, Bob and John, Stonesider, and Valid Expectations.

Dates set for 2009 in Oklahoma

Remington will conduct a 67-date Thoroughbred meet in 2009, from Aug. 21 to Dec. 13. The dates, awarded at an Oklahoma Racing Commission meeting Thursday, are similar to the current meet. Remington was also granted a 50-date Quarter Horse meet from March 6 to May 31.

In other allotments, Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw will shorten up to a 43-date mixed meet in 2009, from July 31 to Nov. 28. Will Rogers Downs in Claremore was granted a 44-date meet, with the bulk of the races for Thoroughbreds. It will run from Feb. 28 through May 23. Fair Meadows in Tulsa was granted a 34-date mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, from June 4 to July 26.

* Also on Thursday, the commission opened a public comment period on a proposed anabolic steroid rule that would closely mirror the model rule set forth by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, said Tino Rieger, the commission's executive director. He said the difference is that Oklahoma would use blood test results to confirm a steroid violation instead of a urine sample. Rieger looks for Oklahoma's steroid rule to be in place by May.