06/07/2006 11:00PM

Datrick enters TTA Futurity on a roll

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - As perhaps the nation's most accomplished 2-year-old, Datrick was already a logical favorite to win Saturday's colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park. But after a Tuesday night barn fire in New Mexico killed his sire, 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, he will also be a sentimental favorite for the race.

The TTA Sales Futurity is to be run in two divisions, with the other race on the card for fillies. Both divisions are at five furlongs and have an estimated purse of $100,000.

is undefeated in three career starts. He won his maiden at Keeneland on April 12, then came back and captured the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on May 4. He comes into the TTA off an easy trial win, in which he coolly withstood pace pressure, then rebuffed a stretch bid to score a one-length win May 26.

"He looked confident," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Datrick for his breeder, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. "The other horse made a good run at him, and he looked confident. He really believes in himself. You can tell that."

Asmussen said Datrick, who won under the lights for the first time in the trial, has been a pro from Day 1.

"He walked in the barn knowing what his job was," said Asmussen. "He's run three times at three different tracks, under three different circumstances, and responded all the time. We feel very fortunate to have him."

Datrick was brought in for the TTA because the timing of the race suited him as the result of a change to the stakes schedule at his base of Churchill Downs.

"They went from three 2-year-old stakes there to two, one being the first week of May, one being the first week of July," said Asmussen. "With that void, and with him being eligible here, it seemed logical to do.

"His father was undefeated at 2, and I think he very much has the feeling of a now horse," he said. "I didn't want to wait that long" to run him.

Datrick led wire to wire to win his maiden and stalked in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup. He will break from post 7 in the nine-horse field Saturday and could get a stalking trip under jockey Jamie Theriot.

"With his seasoning, I think we will be pretty obligated to put pressure on other horses in the race," said Asmussen.

Others in the race include , each of whom is trained by Bret Calhoun.

A seventh win for Asmussen?

Asmussen will attempt to win the TTA fillies division for the seventh time in the last eight years when he sends out Miss Mary Pat. She wired her rivals in the trial May 25, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths.

Her chief rivals include Lady Be Tru, a 2 1/4-length trial winner for Calhoun; and Touchofreality, who can be a force with a repeat of her effort in her 3 1/4-length maiden win here in April.