07/08/2004 11:00PM

Expect Will has flair for dramatic


Expect Will always gets the job done, and he always makes it interesting. Undefeated in three career starts, his largest margin of victory has been a half-length.

"That's who he is," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Expect Will. "You don't know what's in him. He's just like his dad. He's not doing it for the fun of it."

Expect Will is by Valid Expectations, a retired Asmussen trainee who is now the leading sire in Texas. Valid Expectations won a number of races by less than a half-length and ended his career with earnings of $596,092.

Asmussen said Valid Expectations is an intelligent horse, and that is a trait he has passed down to Expect Will, who Asmussen says knows exactly where the wire is.

Expect Will will try to find the wire before all of his rivals once again Sunday, when he starts in the $125,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

A 5 1/2-furlong race, the Texas Stallion is restricted to the offspring of nominated stallions and is the closing-day feature at Lone Star Park.

Expect Will has used stalking tactics in each of his races. Last out, he was up for a nose win over Expect Wings in the $118,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity. Before that race, Expect Will won a trial race by a neck and his maiden by a half-length. All of his starts have come at Lone Star.

Jeremy Beasley, who has ridden Expect Will in each of his races, will be aboard.

Expect Will is one of four horses in the 10-horse field trained by leading Lone Star trainer Asmussen. His other starters are Valid Virtue, Temporary Zone, and Paloo, who will be coupled with Expect Will.

Expect Wings is out to turn the tables on Expect Will. He was a game second to Expect Will in the Sales Futurity on June 12, when he rallied from fifth. Since that race, Expect Wings shows a set of four-furlong works at Lone Star. Ted Gondron has the mount on Expect Wings.

Leaving on My Mind, who was third in the Sales Futurity, will return in the Stallion Stakes. He is the lone maiden in the field, but in all three of his starts has had the misfortune of facing either Expect Will or Expect Wings. Roman Chapa has the mount.

* Racing will return to Lone Star on Oct. 1 for a 19-date fall meet surrounding the track's hosting of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 30.