05/05/2006 12:00AM

Datrick takes Kentucky BC


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Steve Asmussen figured to be the central figure Thursday in the at Churchill Downs - and he was. The veteran trainer ran four of the 12 starters in the five-furlong race for 2-year-olds and not only wound up with the winner and third-place finisher, but also a colt who finished a courageous sixth after narrowly averting disaster at the start.

Datrick, with Shaun Bridgmohan up, wore down his Asmussen stablemate, Sentry, in the final furlong, then held off a sustained run by Pro Pink, a 23-1 outsider, to win the Grade 3 Kentucky BC by 1 1/4 lengths. Sentry finished third, another 1 3/4 lengths back, while Sequoia King, an Asmussen runner who was sent away the 2-1 favorite, was able to finish respectably even after ducking in sharply at the start and almost unseating jockey Garrett Gomez.

Datrick, owned by the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable of Bill Heiligbrodt, returned $7.40 as second choice after finishing in 58.37 seconds over a fast track.

Datrick, a Florida-bred colt by Favorite Trick, was entered off a 7 1/2-length triumph in his only previous start, an April 12 maiden race at Keeneland. He earned $109,852 of the $184,250 purse and will be pointed to the TTA Sales Futurity at Lone Star on June 10, said Asmussen.

Sequoia King broke from post 1 and immediately wheeled toward the inner rail after leaving the gate. Somehow, Gomez.stayed aboard in a remarkably athletic feat, and his mount passed five rivals in the final furlong. "He got ready and broke sharp, but then he threw that left and headed toward the fence," said Gomez. "But I was able to hang on, thank goodness."

"Garrett did an amazing job staying on him," said Asmussen.

Asmussen's fourth starter, Fortunate Envoy, one of five maidens in the race, finished eighth.

For Asmussen, who in 2004 set a record for most winners in a year in North America with 555, the Kentucky BC marked his ninth of the year in a 2-year-old race in Kentucky alone. He won seven maiden races at the Keeneland meet in April and the first 2-year-old race of the Churchill meet.

Ontrack attendance was 25,386, a record for a Thursday at Churchill.