08/08/2006 11:00PM

Class drop benefits Asi Siempre

Adam Coglianese / NYRA
Asi Siempre overtakes Bright Abundance by a neck in the De La Rose.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After knocking heads with some of the top turf fillies and mares in training, Asi Siempre found some class relief Wednesday and was able to wear down Bright Abundance to win the $73,250 by a neck at Saratoga.

Bright Abundance finished second for the third straight time in an overnight stakes, 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Connie Belle.

The mile was the only question regarding Asi Siempre, who had excelled at distances beyond that in her career. But the pace was honest enough - Virden ran an opening half-mile in 46.83 seconds - and Asi Siempre, under Julien Leparoux, was handy enough to follow Bright Abundance through the same opening along the hedge around the far turn.

Leparoux guided Asi Siempre off the hedge in the stretch and she was able to prevail over a stubborn Bright Abundance through the stretch. The 4-year-old Asi Siempre ($5.60) covered the mile in 1:34.51 over a firm inner turf.

Asi Siempre, owned by Martin Schwartz, was making her first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 New York Handicap on June 24. Angara, the runner-up from that race, came back to win the Grade 1 Diana here two weeks ago. Prior to the New York, Asi Siempre finished fourth to Honey Ryder in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.

"The last two races she was in were a little too tough for her so we gave her a break,'' trainer Patrick Biancone said. "She ran big both times, but the older mares are better than her at this stage. Today was a perfect race to have a good comeback race, give her a touch of confidence. Maybe a mile and a sixteenth, a mile and an eighth max will be better for her because [there will be] more pace and she'll have something to run to.''

Biancone said he would wheel Asi Siempre back in the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa on Aug. 26.