12/28/2009 12:00AM

Asmussen duo tests Lydia's Last Step


Lydia's Last Step will need to fight off the Steve Asmussen-trained pair of Grand Slam Andre and Calibrachoa to win the second stakes race of his career Tuesday in the $107,000 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park.

The 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds drew a field of 10.

Lydia's Last Step has come a long way since winning a $25,000 maiden claiming race in wire-to-wire fashion at Lone Star Park in July. He moved into stakes company in October, closing from seventh to defeat a number of stakes winners in the $60,000 Governor's Cup at six furlongs at Zia Park. Lydia's Last Step has raced once more since then, rallying for second in the $50,000 Groovy at Sam Houston Race Park on Dec. 5.

"I think he's maturing and learning to relax," said Todd Fincher, who trains Lydia's Last Step for Rose Mary Chandler. "I think he'll get better with age. He's a big colt; distance will help him a lot."

Lydia's Last Step will break from 3 under Juan Ochoa.

"I'd like a tracking trip, sitting third, fourth, fifth," said Fincher.

Grand Slam Andre makes a couple of meaningful moves for the Riley Allison. For one, he drops in from Grade 3 company. He also cuts back from 1 1/16 miles to one turn. Both his stakes wins came sprinting - in the $67,000 Middleground at Lone Star Park in July and the $50,000 Clever Trevor at Remington Park in August. In his most recent start, Grand Slam Andre was fifth on a sloppy track in the Grade 3, $750,000 Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs.

Asmussen has given the mount to Luis Contreras.

Calibrachoa enters the Riley Allison off a third-place finish in a first-level allowance sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28. Before that race he won his maiden at Hawthorne on Oct. 11. Glen Murphy will ride Calibrachoa, whose most recent Beyer of 82 is the co-highest last-race number in the field Tuesday with maiden winner Chicks a Flyin.

The filly Pyrite on My Mind was third in the $60,000 Permian Basin at Zia in her last start Oct. 18. The winner of that open-company stakes, Glory Be Mine, returned in her next start to take the $150,000 New Mexico Cup Juvenile Fillies, while the fourth-place finisher, Kinsey, came back to win a $75,000 optional claiming race at Remington.

Ken Tohill has the mount on Pyrite on My Mind for trainer Gary Cross.