06/08/2009 11:00PM

Majestic Vintage to try turf next


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Cash Asmussen has won two of the three juvenile stakes offered so far this year in Texas. Now, he has designs on some upcoming 2-year-old races in Louisiana and Kansas.

Majestic Vintage could run next in Louisiana after his three-quarter-length win in the $89,370 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity last Saturday at Lone Star Park. The horse closed from well back to give Asmussen his second 2-year-old stakes score since April, when Man Chester Man rallied to take the $50,000 Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity.

Majestic Vintage had been third in the Manor Futurity before his win Saturday.

"He's always been well-estimated," said Asmussen, who co-owns Majestic Vintage with his father, Keith Asmussen. "He came off the farm from my dad. Nice horse, out of a Lyphard mare, and we'll be anxious to start him on the grass. He's an exciting little horse."

Asmussen, a former champion jockey in France, said Majestic Vintage is being pointed for the $50,000 Minstrel at five furlongs on turf at Louisiana Downs on July 18.

Majestic Vintage received his first lessons in racing at the Laredo, Texas, training center owned by Keith Asmussen and his wife, Marilyn. Keith bred the horse with his other son, Steve Asmussen, the leading trainer in North America who sent out Tomball to finish second in the Sales Futurity. Majestic Vintage is a son of Cuvee, a Grade 1 winner trained by Steve.

"He's a nice individual," Keith said of Majestic Vintage. "Cash and I bought him from Steve as a yearling. Steve and I had owned the mare together, and then I sold my half of the mare and the baby to him, and then we wound up buying him from Steve. Steve's got a few mares and he just sells [their foals] as yearlings. I keep the mares for him."

Keith Asmussen said he bred 15 mares to Cuvee in his first season at stud, and each year since has bred about 10. He was enjoying Majestic Vintage's win on Sunday morning, spending some of his time at Cash's stable at Lone Star.

"Educating the babies and getting them ready to run has been our whole program," said Keith, who also has horses in training with Steve.

As for Man Chester Man, he is being pointed for a pair of stakes at Anthony Downs in Kansas, Cash Asmussen said. The first is against open company in the $25,000 Anthony Fair Futurity on July 10. Later in the season is the $25,000 Kansas Thoroughbred Association Futurity. Man Chester Man races for his breeders, Cindy Nottingham and Charles Redfern.

Belmont-winning jock at Lone Star

Belmont Stakes-winning jockey George Martens presented the trophy to the Asmussens following their win in the Sales Futurity. His brother-in-law, Tony McNeil, rode Majestic Vintage. Martens, who is now retired from race-riding, has been galloping horses at Lone Star for Steve Asmussen. Martens won the Belmont in 1981 aboard Summing.

"He won the Belmont 28 years ago, and then five days after the Belmont me and my wife got married," McNeil said. "He was in my wedding party. Cash was in my wedding party. It was neat.

"We'll be married 28 years next week."

The McNeils have two sons, Bryan and Erik, and both are jockeys based at Lone Star.

Elegante' exits key race

Elegante' will attempt to be the latest starter to emerge from a May 8 allowance at Lone Star and win in her next start when she goes in the seventh race Thursday night. A $30,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at a mile on turf, the race tops the program at Lone Star.

Elegante' was a close fourth in the May 8 turf allowance won by Wasted Tears, who returned in her next start to set a course record at Lone Star when she won the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff with a Beyer Speed Figure of 95. The runner-up from the allowance, Patricia, returned in her next start to win a Lone Star allowance, with a Beyer of 79.

Elegante' will break from post 3, with Eddie Martin Jr. aboard for trainer Danny Pish.