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Decision Pending on Astrology, Dominus

31 October 2010: Garrett Gomez and Astrology take the G3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

A week out from the Jim Dandy, trainer Steve Asmussen has yet to decide whether he’ll run Dominus, victorious in the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont Park on July 2, or Astrology, winner of the Grade 3 Iroquois as a 2-year-old and third in this year’s Grade 1 Preakness, in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.


Asmussen said he will likely send one to the Jim Dandy and the other to the following day’s Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and will base his decision based off wherever he thinks “is the best fit and will benefit both of them the most.”


Both sophomores are owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, with Spendthrift Farm also owning a piece of Dominus.


“They are both quality 3-year-olds with common ownership interests,” added Asmussen, who didn’t provide a timetable on when he’d make a decision. “We want to maximize both horses.”


Meanwhile, Asmussen’s 3-year-old sprinters, Justin Phillip and Wine Police, are on target for the Grade 2, 6 ½-furlong Amsterdam on August 1.


Zayat Stables’ Justin Phillip was off the board in the Grade 3 Lecomte and Grade 2 Risen Star around two turns at the Fair Grounds, but has turned the corner since his connections decided to focus on one-turn events, finishing third in the Grade 3 Bay Shore and Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct and taking the Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by VisitNassauCounty.com by 3 ¼ lengths on June 11.


“We tried to stretch him for the money, basically, and backed him up for success,” said Asmussen.


J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Wine Police, shelved after taking his debut by 7 ¾ lengths and finishing third in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful last year at Saratoga, has raced once this year, winning a Churchill Downs entry-level allowance by 2 ¼ lengths on June 24.


“He’s had three solid races, he likes Saratoga, so we have that going for him,” said Asmussen. “He’s done well since his race at Churchill. There are a lot of reasons why he should run well.”



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