Pricey colt Chestertown to join Asmussen's 'main string'

NYRA Press Office
December 06, 2019 09:52am
Pricey colt Chestertown to join Asmussen's 'main string'
Photo: Tibor & Judit Photography
Following a highly impressive maiden score at Aqueduct Racetrack in his second career start, royally-bred Chestertown will ship to New Orleans to join Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen's winter string at Fair Grounds.

Purchased for $2 million from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, the gray or roan son of Tapit defeated his Empire State-bred counterparts by 2 ¾ lengths going a flat mile on Sunday under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Chestertown is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds in partnership with Chester and Mary Broman, Woodford Racing, Siena Farm and Robert Masiello.

"He'll ship to Fair Grounds in the next couple of days," 
said West Point Thoroughbreds CEO Terry Finley. "It's where Steve's main string is in the winter. But the good thing is that we know he likes Aqueduct. Irad got off him and said that he moved very well over the track."

At Fair Grounds, Chestertown looks like a candidate for 2020 Kentucky Derby trail stops such as the Lecomte (G3), Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2).

Asmussen has enjoyed success training progeny of the prolific Tapit, including the Eclipse Award winner Untapable.

"We had horses with Steve in the early 2000s, but over the years the opportunities hadn't presented themselves. We know what Steve is capable of doing with Tapit progeny and he's the go-to guy when it comes to training them," Finley said. "It's fascinating how he can compare and contrast. They have great constitutions but they are not easy to train.

"Steve said that he's had good ones that will run well once, but it can take them a while to get back in sync. This one is the opposite and that's always a good sign with Tapits."

The Bromans, who bred Chestertown and are strong supporters of the New York racing product, also campaigned the colt's two-time Grade 1-winning mother, Artemis Agrotera.

"Chester Broman and I met 25 years ago, and I've got to know his son pretty well," Finley said. "We've seen a lot more of that in the business -- likeminded people joining forces. I loved that Chester was open to partnering with us. There's nothing that I, or we, would like more than to ride to the mountaintop with the Bromans.

"Mike Hushion [Artemis Agrotera's trainer] was one of the most respected horsemen in the history of NYRA," Finley added. "He thought she was one of the most talented horses that he trained."

Finley has faith that Chestertown will be a horse that can successfully stretch out in distance.

"This is that time where over the next 60-90 days we'll see the men separated from the boys and he gives us the impression that he wants to go far," said Finley.

Finley noted that there can be some uncertainty when purchasing a horse at auction, but said that was not the case when purchasing Chestertown.

"We saw an opportunity that we hadn't seen before," Finley said. "There was a lot of good mojo coming together. I felt very comfortable. It's such a beautiful thing to walk into the sales ring knowing that everyone has your back."


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