01/10/2009 12:00AM

Auspicious has bright future


NEW ORLEANS - The filly's name pretty much says it all: When Auspicious debuted on Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs, it was indeed an auspicious beginning.

Settling in behind a lively pace in a 2-year-old six-furlong maiden race, Auspicious came between horses in midstretch, and in a matter of moments was running by herself. She won by more than six lengths in a sub-1:10 time, and looked much like a filly on which to keep an eye.

"It's there, isn't it?," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Auspicious for Padua Stables. "If we can just keep from messing it up."

Auspicious's second career start comes in the first race on Monday at Fair Grounds, an entry-level allowance race in which she figures to be something like a 2-5 favorite. Auspicious has posted five workouts since shipping into Fair Grounds, and all have the look of controlled, measured breezes meant to move this clearly talented filly forward without jacking up her speed.

And the fact that Auspicious, a $300,000 Indian Charlie yearling purchase, was entered back in another sprint race does not imply that she cannot become a two-turn horse this winter and spring.

"It's just timing, with what we're up to," Asmussen said. "We just have to show patience with her. She's got tremendous talent."

The five fillies entered against her include another Asmussen-trained horse, Linnea, as well as Hug It Out, who finished third last out in the Letellier Stakes at Fair Grounds. Catarina Ranch and Just for Annika exit victories in claiming races, while Bombarda won a Remington Park maiden race last month in her second start.

While Auspicious may be the most interesting horse entered on Monday's card, the featured race actually is the ninth, a second-level optional $40,000 claimer for fillies and mares on the turf. Just seven are in the main body of the field, with two more fillies entered main-track only.

Talkin Indian wasn't nearly as flashy as Auspicious, but she, too, won her most recent start and could easily repeat. Away from the races from July until Dec. 7, Talkin Indian made a nice rally from mid-pack to win an entry-level turf allowance here over Points of Grace, who returned to capture her next start. Talkin Indian has had about five weeks to recover from that strong performance, and has worked three times between starts for trainer Richie Scherer.