Under the Radar: Steve Asmussen’s 3-year-old fillies

By J.J. Hysell

1. Melody Lady (Unbridled’s Song – Lady Tak by Mutakddim) (Owner: Hill ‘n Dale, Edward McGhee)

Hampered by a wide post in her debut, she finished fifth after pressing the pace in the six-furlong race at Churchill Downs. Since then, she’s posted two straight wins – her most recent an eyebrow-raising dominant performance in the El Paso Times at Sunland Park. She covered the six and a half furlongs in a speedy 1:15.76 in front-running fashion and was expanding her lead at the wire. Prior to that, she came from off the pace to win sprinting at Fair Grounds.

Melody Lady’s dam, Lady Tak, was a multiple graded stakes winner who won 10 of 19 races and banked $1,160,782. Her victory highlight reel included the Fair Grounds Oaks, the Test Stakes, the Ballerina Handicap and the Gallant Bloom Handicap. steve asmus

2. Countess Curlin (Curlin – Profit Column by Private Account) (Owner: Stonestreet Stables)

She might not be one of Stonestreet’s more recognizable names, but this filly based on the Texas-Oklahoma circuit is talented.

She just missed in her debut after a wide rally and settled for second. The chestnut with the free-rolling stride followed up with a big front-running performance going a mile at Retama. In her third start, she rated mid-pack before closing with a flourish to win going a mile at Sam Houston.

This is a filly who looks like she’d appreciate extended distances and could try stakes races on the circuit.

3. Kay Ellen (Tiznow – River’s Prayer by Devon Lane) (Owner: Stonestreet Stables)

In an excellent debut as the only first-timer against a full field of experienced foes, this gray daughter of Tiznow went to the lead an never looked back in a romp at Sam Houston.

She handled the one mile, 70 yards with ease and should have no problem with added distance. She’s now training at Oaklawn. Her dam, River’s Prayer, was a multiple graded stakes winner based in California whose conquests included the Las Cienegas Handicap, the Princess Rooney Handicap and the California Cup Distaff Handicap.

4. Sister Ginger (Student Council – Letters in Silver by Silver Hawk) – The surprise 19-1 winner of the Martha Washington isn’t as consistent as many of her peers, but it could be she needed time to figure things out. She topped the heralded Rose to Gold in that race and has finished second in her other two stakes tries. With a pedigree loaded with Roberto influences, her dosage is a supreme 0.87.

5. Regal Joanne (Street Boss – Se Bella by Forestry) (Owner: Zayat Stables)

After a sharp win at Delta Downs in her second start, she traveled to Oaklawn and finished a solid third behind the talented Awesome Mama. She encountered traffic trouble in that test and, once through, rallied. She’s showing improvement as she climbs the class ladder.


  1. We live in the age of real time news and this is an example of that cpcenot inching its way into the horse world. David Meerman Scott’s rules of real-time media engagement prevail right now in the bigger world we are taught that newsjacking is the route to own or control the message. Sometimes you have to insert yourself into your own story, as Stonestreet did.I can guarantee you that if Barbaro (R.I.P.) was at New Bolton Center today, the university would have its hands full attempting to control the news and it wouldn’t succeed. The horse world is inching along into the real-time reality and it comes down to whether you participate in the news stream or scramble to react to it after damage is potentially done. Stonestreet did the right thing. Maybe their choice of words pain is such an evocative word in any use wasn’t the best but they did participate. I hate to see spin doctors working the horse world just as much as I hate to receive provocative headlines in breaking-news emails from the racing press. Rachel Alexandra, Foal Taken to Equine Clinic was the slug that arrived in my email that night. Who wouldn’t open that email, which did not contain any reassurance that the transport was precautionary? Who wouldn’t click that link to read more, on an ad-supported web page?It’s a Grade 1 race to dominate the news. Alarmist headlines work in email alerts and on Twitter. Once the adrenalin kicks in, people want drama. They’ve been cued for drama. In that story, they were looking for Rood and Riddle to rise to some perceived medical emergency occasion and save the mare. When they found out there was no emergency, they obviously (along with the sources that incited the fury) simply turned on Stonestreet and each other until the adrenalin subsided.I believe it’s a form of crowd-sourced blood lust, social-media style. Get used to it.

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