Dixie Poker Ace Stakes
Fair Grounds, 2-29-20, ant 1 mile, turf
Four-year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana-breds, $60,000
NINETY ONE ASSAULT
Artie Schiller-Lilly Ladue
Breeder: Richey & Strode Stables, LLC
Owner: Thomas Morley & Paul Braverman
Trainer: Thomas Morley
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Shanghai Bobby-Humble Janet
Breeder: Cloyce C. Clark Jr.
Owner: L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Jockey: Brian Joseph Hernandez
In The Navy
Breeder: Ken Standlee
Owner: Kendel D. Standlee
Trainer: Scott Gelner
Jockey: Adam Beschizza
For the third consecutive time at Fair Grounds, Tom Morley and Paul Braverman’s Ninety One Assault put in his signature closing kick and spurted clear in the final 1/16th of a mile to score in the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes by two lengths as the 7-5 favorite. Swallowing up Shang late in the stretch, Ninety One Assault stopped the clock in 1:40.92 for the about one mile turf journey. It was ¼ lengths back to In the Navy in third.
Now a six-time winner over the Fair Grounds turf course, Ninety One Assault closed the door on his 6-year-old campaign with a win in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf in early December at Fair Grounds. Following the victory trainer Tom Morley spotted Ninety One Assault in an open company $80,000 optional claimer race in January, a race in which he blasted home at odds of 10-1 to score by ¾ of a length.
The now 7-year-old son of Artie Schiller has put together a career record of 31-7-3-6 with earnings of $344,683.
“He was just the best horse today” said jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who swept both stakes races on the Saturday card. “I like to get him covered up and breaking from post 11 today was a little tricky but I was able to get covered up for a bit down the backside and when I started to ask him around the 3/8th’s pole he was there for me.”
“The pace up front was slower today,” Bridgmohan continued. “This horse is so tactical and believe me if I wanted to be up on the lead at any point he would have responded and gone up there but that’s not his style and I tried to ride him the way he likes to run and not take him out of his game.
A multiple stakes winner on dirt, Shang moved to the turf course for the first time in his career and put in a valiant effort to run second with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard.
“He handled the grass great,” Hernandez Jr. said. “We got to go as easy as we wanted to and turning for home he switched leads right on que and was really running down the lane. The winner was just much the best today.”