12/31/2010 8:57PM

Silver Medallion gives Asmussen first Santa Anita win

Benoit & Associates
Silver Medallion, winning the Eddie Logan on turf, will make his first start on dirt in the Santa Anita Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Silver Medallion, a colt known for being a too playful at times in the morning, gave a glimpse of his ability with a win in Friday’s

$79,950 Eddie Logan Stakes

at Santa Anita.


The victory was the colt’s first stakes win, and was the first career win at Santa Anita for trainer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen, 45, has a 30-horse stable here this winter.


Silver Medallion was his sixth starter of the meeting, which began on Dec. 26, and the 20th of his career at Santa Anita. Asmussen won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding trainer of 2008 and 2009.


Silver Medallion ($12.60) made his first start for Asmussen in the Logan, which was run over a mile on turf. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Silver Medallion stalked pacesetter Robie the Cat for the first six furlongs, took the lead in early stretch and held off a late run from Ten Devils to win by a half-length.


Silver Medallion was timed in 1:35.67. Moment of Weakness finished third in the field of eight.


Silver Medallion was previously trained by Chad Brown. A colt by Badge of Silver, Silver Medallion was fifth in the Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes on turf at Saratoga in September and seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity on Polytrack at Keeneland in October.


Owned by Michael Ryan, Silver Medallion has won 2 of 5 starts and $92,874, and joined Asmussen’s stable in the fall.


“Since we started with him, we’ve known he has a ton of energy,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “He doesn’t know what to do with it. He needs to do less playing. You know it’s there if he’ll pay attention.”


Silver Medallion will be pointed for stakes for 3-year-olds on turf in coming months, Blasi said.


“I think he’s a grass horse,” he said.


Turf for Tales in Excess


Tales in Excess’s career will change directions in early 2011 after she won her turf debut in Friday’s

$80,300 Blue Norther Stakes

for 2-year-old fillies.


Tales in Excess won the one-mile race by a nose over pacesetter Wave of Applause, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said he will point her for additional turf races.


Tales in Excess won her first stakes in the Blue Norther, and did so in a style that surprised Hollendorfer.


Tales in Excess ($3.80) stalked pacesetter Wave of Applause through fractions of 23.09 and 47.41 seconds and caught the leader in the final strides to win by a nose under jockey Joel Rosario. Tales in Excess was expected to set the pace, but was second for much of the race.


“We thought we’d be on the lead,” Hollendorfer said. “I thought Joel made a good decision to rate her off the pace. He got her up in the last jump."


Tales in Excess ran a mile on turf in 1:36.23. By Tale of the Cat, Tales in Excess has won 2 of 5 starts and $109,800. The Blue Norther was the longest race of her career. She was second in the Anoakia Stakes and third in the Moccasin Stakes for sprinters on the synthetic track at Hollywood Park in the fall.


Tales in Excess races for a partnership that includes breeders Jerry and Barbara Dutton. Jerry Dutton is a former trainer on this circuit, who is now retired in Idaho.


No idle Rumor


The 2-year-old filly Rumor scored an easy win in her debut in Friday’s sixth race, zipping six furlongs in a quick 1:07.97.


The victory left jockey Rafael Bejarano impressed with her. She fought for the early lead and pulled away to win by 6 3/4 lengths, returning $7.20.


“I tried to get her to relax and not face too much pressure,” he said. “I wanted to wait for the stretch. When she took the lead, she was cruising.”


The win did not surprise trainer Richard Mandella.


“She had trained like that,” he said.


Owned by Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Rumor cost $440,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.