04/30/2012 11:36AM

Churchill Downs: Asmussen will assess Derby before committing Hierro to Preakness

Reed Palmer Photography
Hierro, winner of the Derby Trial under Julien Leparoux, will work out next Monday before trainer Steve Asmussen decides whether to take a shot at the Preakness.

Steve Asmussen said he is in “a perfect position” in regard to having Hierro, winner of the Derby Trial, as a consideration for the May 19 Preakness.

“We get to watch the Derby and see what happens,” said Asmussen, who will run Sabercat and Daddy Nose Best in the Derby. “Hierro came out of the race in great shape. He’ll work the Monday after Derby and we’ll see where we are with him then.”

Hierro earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure in his 1 1/2-length triumph Saturday night in the Trial, which was witnessed by an ontrack crowd of 26,527. The races were delayed twice – by a major hailstorm before the fifth race for 50 minutes, and by a 15-minute shoeing snafu that led to the scratch of Nonios before the Trial.

Leparoux rides four winners on opening night

Julien Leparoux began the Churchill meet the same way he ended Keeneland – winning. Leparoux, who won the final race of the 15-day Keeneland meet and earned his eighth riding title at the Lexington track, rode four winners on opening night, including Hierro in the Derby Trial. This week is something of a swan song for Leparoux, who will make New York his primary circuit following the Derby. He rides Union Rags in the Derby.