11/21/2009 12:00AM

Vertical Vision back in softer spot


The Oklahoma-bred program has a serious 2-year-old filly this year in Vertical Vision. A two-time stakes winner who finished a troubled sixth last out in the Grade 3 Pocahontas, she will be racing against statebreds for the first time Sunday in the $60,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie at Remington Park.

The Lassie will share a program with the $60,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile. Both races, which are for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, had traditionally been run on Oklahoma Classics Night each September. But this year the races were pushed back to give the young horses more time to develop, and Vertical Vision has made good use of it by winning 3 of 6 starts, including two stakes at Prairie Meadows.

On Nov. 1, Vertical Vision was unable to get through at a key point in the one-mile Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, was forced to steady, and ended up four lengths behind winner Sassy Image.

"I was very disappointed with the trip that she got in the Pocahontas," said trainer Steve Asmussen. "And it put me in limbo as far as what was the right next move for her. She's a filly that has had plenty of races this year. I think this is a softer spot than her last race, and I would like her confidence to be where it should be when we start her 3-year-old year. But having said that, I also think this is a very tough race."

Shotgun Gulch adds to the Lassie's depth. She defeated open -company stakes rivals two starts ago at Remington, when she was up for a head win in the $52,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial on Oct. 10. Following that race, Shotgun Gulch made her two-turn and turf debut in the $100,000 La Senorita at Retama Park and finished fourth to future Breeders' Cup starter Lisa's Kitten.

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Shotgun Gulch for owner-trainer C.R. Trout.

Jermaine Bridgmohan has the mount on Vertical Vision, who is a daughter of Pollard's Vision.

Bridgmohan and Asmussen will also team up in the Juvenile with Macho Agent, who could go favored for his head win over open company in a $75,000 optional claiming sprint at Remington on Oct. 26. A son of Macho Uno, Macho Agent is co-owned by Asmussen and Asmussen's father, Keith.

Another possible threat is Hollywood Ice, a full brother to five-time stakes winner Annie Savoy.