Sunday, March 15, 2009


HEART ASHLEY MAKES A CHANGE AND WIRES CICADA


On paper, Zayat Stable’s Heart Ashley looked as though she would stalk the pace in Saturday’s 17th running of the Grade 3, $107,300 Cicada at Aqueduct Racetrack.

But when the gates opened, the Lion Heart filly got the jump on five other three-year-old fillies, including favored Dream Play. And that was ideal for her jockey, C.C. Lopez, who is known as an ideal fit for a speed horse.


Lopez let her run, and Heart Ashley got stronger each spilt, going in 22.37, 44.71, 56.67 and finally scoring a 2 ½-length victory over Dream Play in the six-furlong sprint on the fast inner dirt track.

It was her third win in five career starts, and she returned $11.80 as the third choice of the crowd of 4,269.

“I was conscious that they like to see her from just off the pace,” Lopez said. “I didn’t think I was faster than the 1-horse (favored Dream Play), but when my horse hopped out the way she did and I didn’t see Dream Play in front of me right away, I meant to get in front of them and make it difficult. She was ticking right off without me even asking and she just danced away from them.”

Dream Play survived a claim of foul to secure the place, while One Smokin Lady, Daily Star, Purrfect Bluff and Love That Dance trailed

CICADA QUOTES

Toby Sheets, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen of Heart Ashley (No. 3): “She ran super. She got away well and stayed up there. I have no idea what’s next.”

Winning jockey C.C Lopez: “I was conscious that they like to see her from just off the pace. I didn’t think I was faster than the 1-horse (favored Dream Play), but when my horse hopped out the way she did and I didn’t see Dream Play in front of me right away, I meant to get in front of them and make it difficult. She was ticking right off without me even asking and she just danced away from them.”


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