TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN WINS TRAPEZE FOR SECOND TIME IN THREE YEARS, THIS TIME WITH OPTIONALITY
Optionality has turned into a machine, winning her third race in a row, all by more than six lengths. Her win Friday night was trainer Steve Asmussen’s second in the last three years in the $101,100 Trapeze Stakes for 2-year-old fillies going one mile at Remington Park.
Asmussen also won this race in 2019 with Princesinha Julia. It was the first win in the Trapeze for jockey Jose Ortiz and owner Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell) of Las Vegas.
On Friday night, Optionality got home a city block in front of everyone. She cruised to the lead just past the half-mile marker in the race and the rest of the field never heard from her again as she drew off to an impressive 8-1/4 lengths victory.
This daughter of the prolific sire Gun Runner, out of the Pulpit mare Simplify, broke her maiden at Indiana Grand two races back on Oct. 26, a victor by 6-3/4 lengths. Her subsequent start was on Oct. 26 at Zia Park in New Mexico in stakes company. She won the $50,000 Zia Princess Stakes also by daylight, checking in 6-1/2 lengths in front.
“She’s a very versatile filly,” said the country’s all-time winningest trainer Steve Asmussen. “I’m so proud to have another Gun Runner that can do this. She’s won at three tracks, at two distances with three different jockeys. This was a good effort at one mile.”
Ortiz was equally impressed. His brother, Irad Ortiz, No. 2 in the nation in earnings in 2021, was in the saddle for the Zia win.
“She broke good,” Jose Ortiz said, “and Steve really had her ready. She started looking around at the end with it being night time and the lights and the shadow at the wire, but she got the job done.”
Optionality was the second betting favorite in the race at 2-1 odds and paid $6.20 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. Golden Sights, a distant runner-up, was the 6-5 favorite, three-quarters of a length ahead of Hits Pricey Legacy (4-1) in third. Running time for the mile was 1:41.10 over the fast track, a tad faster (.13) than the Springboard Mile a race later. Interior fractions for the race were :23.91 for the first quarter-mile, :48.49 for the half-mile, 1:13.87 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:27.13 for seven eighths.
The remaining order of finish in the Trapeze was Ring Me Darling (4th) Rollin Chrome (5th), Morning Twilight (6th), Diamonds N Aces (7th), Lilly’s Bidness (8th) and Brodie Baby (9th).
It took Optionality four tries to win for the first time, but she hasn’t lost since. Her record improved to six starts, three wins, one second and two thirds for $124,000 earned. She won $60,000 for the trip to the winner’s circle in the Trapeze. She is a Kentucky home-bred for the Winchells.
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