Bayerd Stayed Put, Ready for Southwest
After shipping him from Fair Grounds for the Smarty Jones Stakes, Steve Asmussen decided to leave Bayerd at Oaklawn Park and now hopes that decision pays off in the Southwest Stakes on Monday.
"He's doing great,” said Asmussen of Bayerd, who finished second in the Smarty Jones. “He stayed at Oaklawn and he's trained well coming up to the race. We expect a good effort from him on Monday." Assistant Darren Fleming has been taking care of Bayerd.
Bayerd was a two-time stakes winner as a 2-year-old, taking the six-furlong Kip Deville and the Springboard Mile at Remington Park. After contesting the Smarty Jones at one mile and being no match for winner Far Right, he'll be asked to stretch out to 1 1/16 mile.
Asmussen was questioned about Bayerd's sprinter lineage. He's a son of 2004 champion Sprinter Speightstown and a maternal grandson of 1994 champion Sprinter Cherokee Run.
"They've got to keep getting better, going longer, and they have to keep moving forward," he said. "There's no doubt about it."
That said, the trainer touts Bayerd as ready for a return match with Far Right and the rest of the field.
"You prepare for who you have in the race, and I like where we're running," Asmussen said.
Ramon Vazquez gets the return call on Bayerd.
Asmussen also trains Bold Conquest, last seen finishing third in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 4, beaten 12 lengths by Carpe Diem. Bold Conquest worked a half-mile in :50.60 on Thursday. The Curlin colt worked from the half-mile pole to the wire about 20 minutes after the track opened. He covered his final quarter-mile in :24.60 under the supervision of Fleming. Two-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. is scheduled to ride Bold Conquest in the Southwest.
Also expected to be entered Friday morning are Far Right, J S Bach, Kantune, Majestico, Mr. Z, Private Prospect, The Truth Or Else and War Story.
Edited Oaklawn release with additional content by Dick Downey