Sok Sok Socks It To 'Em in FG's Thanksgiving Handicap
NEW ORLEANS, La. (November 27, 2008) - Savorthetime Stables' Sok Sok rallied in the late stages of and drew off for a 3 1/4-length victory in the 83rd running of the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap Thursday at Fair Grounds.
The winner, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Steve Asmussen, toured the six furlong-distance in 1:09.98 and returned mutuels of $12.40, $5.80 and $3.20. The son of Trippi increased his career earnings to $215,043 while winning his fourth race in seven career starts.
"I had a lot of horse," said Hernandez, "so I just saved ground and look around for the (favored Roi Maudit). When I found some running room - (Sok Sok) was gone."
The other Asmussen trainee in the field, Devereux, finished second, a half-length in front of Roi Maudit, who rallied late after finding running room. The runner-up paid $3.80 and $2.40 while the favorite returned $2.20 to show.
Truelyonbroadway made the early pace with splits of :22.13 and :45.30 before tiring to finish fifth.
Asmussen tied his own record for training wins in a year with his 555th winner of 2008 in Saturday's 10th race at Fair Grounds, then broke the mark the next afternoon at Remington Park.
Racing resumes Friday of Thanksgiving weekend at Fair Grounds with a 10-race card headlined by the "Buddy" Diliberto Memorial Handicap for older turf horses. First post on both Friday and Saturday is 12;15 p.m. CST, 15 minutes earlier than usual.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.