Trainer Steve Asmussen will start Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Tricky One in Saturday’s 116th running of the $100,000 Debutante (Listed) in an attempt to collect his fifth victory in the six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies.
The Debutante, which attracted 10 juvenile fillies, is one of three stakes events on Churchill Downs’ 11-race closing night card billed as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Jack Daniel’s.” The Debutante will go as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Tricky One, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Unbridled’s Song out of the Pulpit mare Simplify, contested the pace from the inside in her June 3 debut and shook clear in the stretch to draw away for a comfortable 4 ½-length win in :58.19 for five furlongs.
A win by Asmussen on Saturday would equal Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s five-win Debutante record. Asmussen’s previous race success came with Cashier’s Dream (2001), Effectual (’05), Richwoman (’06) and Rated Fiesty (’07).
One of Tricky One’s prime rivals will be a horse bred by Asmussen’s father Keith. Keene Thoroughbreds’ Country Candy was a romping 9 ½-length debut winner at Lone Star Park for trainer J.R. Caldwell on May 6. Bred in Texas, Country Candy will attempt to become the third Texas-bred to win the Debutante in the last four years. Bret Calhoun saddled Fiftyshadesofgold and Promise Me Silver to victories in 2013-14, respectively.
The field for the Debutante from the rail out (with jockey): Silver Threads (Robby Albarado), Anna’s Bandit (Eric Camacho), Grandma’s Princess (Miguel Mena), Country Candy (Ricardo Santana Jr.), Tricky One (Florent Geroux), Pretty City Dancer (Julien Leparoux), Maximum Edge (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Whole Scoop (Corey Lanerie), Like a Hurricane (Francisco Torres) and China Grove (Albin Jimenez).