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Asmussen was born into a racing family as his father and mother are both trainers and his brother Cash is a champion jockey. Steve has trained over 6000 winners and in 2009, shattered his own record for wins in a single year with 650 earning the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top trainer. Asmussen trained back-to-back Horse of the Year’s in Curlin and Rachel Alexandra and undefeated Eclipse Champion juvenile filly My Miss Aurelia in 2011.Other top runners include Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly, Regally Ready, Majesticperfection, Kodiak Kowboy, Haynesfield, Wilburn and Pyro.
Corey finished second in Kentucky Derby 137 aboard Nehro in his fifteenth Derby appearance. He has ridden two Kentucky Oaks winners, Lilt Light and Pike Place Dancer. Corey was a champion wrestler in high school and had his first experience with horse racing when his father stopped at Santa Anita Park on their way home from a wrestling tournament. Intrigued by the sport he began working on the backside as a hot walker and later learned to ride. He went to jockey school and after graduating in 1988, went to ride in Mexico where he rode his first winner in a dead heat aboard Blue King.
Zayat Stables was formed in 2005 by Ahmed Zayat, an entrepreneur from Cairo, Egypt. Zayat was introduced to horses in his early teens while competing in national show jumping events in his native country. In 2009, Zayat’s Pioneer of the Nile won the Santa Anita Derby before finishing second in the Kentucky Derby. In 2010, Zayat was back on the Derby trail with early favorite Eskendereya, but he was withdrawn from the race because of injury. In the 137th Run for the Roses, Zayat again finished second with Nehro.
Mt. Brilliant Farm
With two strong Kentucky Derby (G1) preps at 1 1/8 miles, by a sire whose runners have really shined the last couple of seasons, and by a dam that has already thrown two graded stakes performers, Nehro has a lot going for him entering the May 7 Run for the Roses.
Bred in Kentucky by Mt. Brilliant Farm, Nehro is by Mineshaft, who reached the peak of his powers as a four-year-old, earning Horse of the Year honors after romps in the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and Suburban H. (G1), 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special H. (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Woodward S. (G1), Ben Ali S. (G3) and New Orleans H. (G2).
Mineshaft is regally bred, being by 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy (himself a son of 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew) and out of Broodmare of the Year Prospectors Delite, by supersire Mr. Prospector, and he is starting to live up those bloodlines at stud.
Mineshaft enjoyed a breakout year in 2010 by siring top performers across the distance spectrum -- Dwyer S. (G2) romper Fly Down missed narrowly in the 1 1/4-mile Travers S. (G1) and 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. (G1), and finished a rallying third in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic (G1); Redding Colliery set a 1 1/8-mile track record at Laurel and stayed 1 1/4 miles to win the Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2); Discreetly Mine won the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star S. (G3), but ultimately thrived as a sprinter and concluded the season with a stunning victory in the seven-furlong King's Bishop S. (G1); and A. U. Miner made a name for himself in the marathon division.
Mineshaft is also the sire of this year’s likely Kentucky Derby favorite Dialed In, who landed the Florida Derby (G1) and Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream this winter.
Nehro was produced by The Administrator (Afleet), who was stakes-placed at two and three and winner of a minor seven-furlong stakes at Laurel as a five-year-old in 1997. Three offspring have already exceeded her performance at the track. In addition to the subject, she has also produced Discovery H. (G3) winner Saint Marden (Saint Ballado) and the Grade 2-placed Sunshine Millions Distaff winner Sweet Lips (Kris S.). This is the family of Grade 2 juvenile winner Old Tascosa (Gone West).
Broodmare sire Afleet (Mr. Prospector) was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1987. Though probably best up to one mile, the distance of his signature win in the Jerome H. (G1), Afleet did stretch his speed to win the nine-furlong Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and finish second in the 1 1/4-mile Meadowlands Cup (G1) and Queen’s Plate.
Afleet’s daughters have produced individuals as varied as Fleet Indian (Indian Charlie), the 2006 champion older mare who won twice at 1 1/4 miles that season; Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones), an early Kentucky Derby candidate this year after third-place efforts in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Risen Star S. (G2); and the full-sibling grass dragsters California Flag and Cambiocorsa, both by Avenue of Flags.
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