05/07/2009 11:00PM

This Asmussen a man on the move


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Cash Asmussen has been all over the map with his 2-year-olds recently. He sent out the first three finishers in the $50,000 Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity last month near Austin, Texas, with one of those horses set to run back in upcoming trials for the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park.

And this week, Asmussen has been spending time at Barretts in California, where he is preparing a dozen 2-year-olds to sell at the auction house on Monday. He also may be headed to Kansas soon to run Manor Downs Futurity winner Man Chester Man.

"He happens to be a Kansas-bred," Asmussen, a former champion jockey in France, said of Man Chester Man, whom he trains for Cindy Nottingham and Charles Redfern. "We're seeing if we want to travel around back to his home state and take advantage of a little statebred money."

Man Chester Man could see action at a track like Anthony or Eureka Downs.

Valid Heart was second in the Manor Futurity, and is bred to be a good one. His dam, Valid Obsession, is a full sister to leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations, noted Asmussen.

"He's a late baby, so we're going to give him a little time," he said of plans for Valid Heart.

As for Majestic Vintage, the third-place finisher in the Manor Futurity who like Valid Heart races for Cash and his father, Keith Asmussen, he is being pointed for the TTA Sales Futurity trials at Lone Star May 22. Majestic Vintage is a son of Cuvee, a Grade 1 winner that was trained by Cash's brother, Steve Asmussen, who is the leading trainer in North America and at Lone Star.

Sunland customers cash on Derby

Mine That Bird was a popular bet to win the Kentucky Derby with Sunland's simulcast patrons. The fourth-place finisher from the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby, he runs for New Mexico-based connections.

The track's customers won over $180,000 on the Churchill Downs signal on Kentucky Derby Day, according to Dustin Dix, director of racing operations for Sunland.

"Normally on Monday morning [after the Kentucky Derby], we always have to wire Churchill Downs money, but this year, Churchill wired us," said Harold Payne, general manager of Sunland.

"I think we paid out $109,000 in exactas alone."

Sunland officials said ontrack patrons purchased 2,042 win tickets on 50-1 shot Mine That Bird, with $105,000 returned on those bets. There were also 863 winning place tickets on Mine That Bird at Sunland, and 916 winning show tickets. Mine That Bird paid $103.20 to win in the Kentucky Derby, which was the second-highest price in the race's history. He is owned by Double Eagle Farm and Buena Suerte Equine and is trained by Bennie Woolley.

Mine That Bird had raced twice during the Sunland meet, finishing second in the $100,000 Borderland Derby in February, one start before his fourth-place finish to Kelly Leak in the Sunland Derby on March 29. His next start came in the Kentucky Derby.

Remington: 870 stars clash

Quarter Horse stars Snowbound Superstar and Gone to the Mountain will meet for the first time Sunday in the $37,620 Red Cell Distance Challenge at Remington Park. Snowbound Superstar has won his last 13 races, and Gone to the Mountain set a world record in his last race. Neither horse has been beaten at the race's 870-yard distance.

The Red Cell is one of three divisional Quarter Horse stakes at Remington on Sunday, with the winner of each to earn a berth into the Challenge Championships program of stakes at Los Alamitos on Oct. 31.

Gone to the Mountain won the New Mexico Distance Challenge at Sunland Park in his last start, covering 870 yards in a world-record time of 43.02 seconds. He will break from the rail under Freddie Martinez. Gone to the Mountain is trained by Wesley Giles.

Snowbound Superstar, a two-time distance champion, drew post 3. Coby Jensen has the mount for trainer Paul Jones.

Also on the card, Illegal Memories looks like a top contender in the Grade 1, $104,760 Bank of America Oklahoma Challenge Championship at 440-yards. A Grade 1 winner of $608,233, he is trained by Heath Taylor and will be ridden by G.R. Carter Jr. The winner earns a berth into the Grade 1, $350,000 Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos.

Louisiana Downs opening Friday

Louisiana Downs near Shreveport, La., will open its Thoroughbred meet on Friday. It will continue through Oct. 4. The meet's richest race, the Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby, will be run Sept. 19.

Jorge Lara is the defending trainer champ, while last year's leading rider was Don Simington. Entries for the first card will be taken on Tuesday.