08/01/2008 11:00PM

Smokin Bayou tops Asmussen exacta


Smokin Bayou powered to a five-length win over stablemate Sky Haven in the $65,000 Colleen Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

The Colleen, the prep for the $100,000 Sorority Stakes on Aug. 31, was one of three distaff stakes on the Saturday card.

One Man to Beat ($20.40) won the $65,000 Staybridge Suites for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and Kosmo's Buddy ($17.80) took the $60,000 Crank It Up for 3-year-old grass sprinters.

Smokin Bayou earned her second win in three starts as trainer Steve Asmussen enjoyed a one-two finish in the stakes

Jose Lezcano, Monmouth's leading rider, had Smokin Bayou up by 2 1/2 lengths at the top of the lane after vying three wide for the early lead.

"She didn't break all that well," said Lezcano. "Right out of the gate, she was up in the air. She settled after that, and when I called on her she really accelerated nicely."

It was a satisfying outcome for the Asmussen barn.

"We thought we had a shot with both fillies in the race," said assistant trainer Toby Sheets. "They are both really nice fillies. We'll see how they come out of the race before we decide about the Sorority."

The time was 1:04.89 for the 5 1/2 furlongs on a good track.

In the Staybridge Suites, rescheduled after the cancellation on July 27, One Man to Beat survived a spirited duel with Open Skies to earn her third win in five starts this season.

One Man to Beat, ridden by Elvis Trujillo for trainer Graham Motion, finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Open Skies, with Yippety Yip third.