Asserche romps in Cedar Key

August 01, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Asserche is known for loping along in the back of the pack during route races, seemingly out of contention as the speed horses race away from him.

In his previous start, he was truly out of the running, finishing ninth in the Sir Ivor Stakes at Laurel.

Yesterday, it was a different story.

Jockey Edgar Prado allowed the gelding to go at his own pace, and Asserche was never too far off the lead in the $35,000 Cedar Key Stakes. By the time the turn into the stretch arrived, Asserche was ready.

He took command willingly in the 1 7/8 -mile turf test and drew away to a four-length victory over another closer, Vladivostok, in a Pimlico track-record 3 minutes, 14 4/5 seconds.

The time shattered a record set by Brightly that had stood for 39 years.

Sunny Sunrise set leisurely early fractions of 24 4/5 and 1:15 4/5 over a track labeled "good," but gave way the second time around and finished sixth.

"I just kept him out wide, away from the traffic, and let him run his own race," said Prado, whose four winners on the card shot him into the jockey lead. "When we came down the stretch, he had plenty left. He won real easy."

The victory increased Asserche's career earnings to $320,982 and made him 3-for-6 this year with a second and a third.

Joe Rocco, who rode another contender, Heavy Rain, said: "You know that Sunny Sunrise would be a bunch of lengths in front early. The trouble is that when you see Asserche in front by six in the stretch, you're in trouble."

Asserche, a Virginia-bred horse, has won 14 of 56 starts since 1991.

NOTE: The National Best Seven wager Saturday produced a relatively low payoff because of a predominance of winning favorites and several scratches in two races. The winning numbers were 1-2-6-6-10-3-7. The return for seven of seven on a $1 wager was $2,508.70. Bettors with six of seven correct received $75.10.

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