06/04/2008 11:00PM

Asmussen has futurity power trio


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - There is little separating the leading contenders in the two divisions of the $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park on Saturday. The races are both at five furlongs, with the colts and geldings division led by the Steve Asmussen-trained trio of Lyin' Heart, Belton, and Call West. Among the fillies there is no clear-cut favorite either, with the race looking like a toss-up among trial winners Judys Cure, Lightlightlight, and Truly Lucky.

"I think it's a pretty competitive spot," Joe Petalino, who trains Judys Cure, said of the fillies division. "There were two or three in every race that showed a lot of run."

Petalino hopes he has the right horse in Judys Cure. She made her career debut in the TTA trials on May 22, and was prominent throughout for a 5 1/4-length win. Her margin of victory was the greatest of three trials for the fillies division, and for covering five furlongs in 59.20 seconds she earned a strong Beyer Speed Figure of 70. Eddie Martin Jr. was aboard for the win, and has the mount again Saturday.

"She breaks good," said Petalino. "She's going to be up there with the speed."

Judys Cure, who races for her breeder, Larry Dyson, is a full sister to Rare Cure, a seven-time stakes winner who earned $515,590. The chief threats appear to be the Asmussen-trained Lightlightlight, who overcame trouble from the rail post to win her trial in her debut, covering five furlongs in 59.80 seconds (59 Beyer). Truly Lucky accounted for the final trial of the night for trainer Michael Stidham. She won by 4 1/4 lengths in 59.20 seconds, and earned a Beyer Figure of 70.

Asmussen trainees won all three trials for the colts and geldings division held May 23, with the flashiest victory coming from the front-running Belton and the easiest from the well-bred Lyin' Heart. The best Beyer, a 73, went to Asmussen-trained Call West and Justwill, who finished a nose apart in the final trial of the night. Belton earned a Beyer of 60, and Lyin' Heart a 65.

Lyin' Heart, a son of Lion Heart, made his debut in the trial, and after racing in sixth early easily overtook his rivals in the final furlong. Belton remained perfect in two career starts with his 5 1/4-length trial win. Call West fought off a late challenge from Justwill to win his trial in a night-best time of 59 seconds.