01/26/2005 12:00AM

Academic Angel wins her finale


Academic Angel, who captured the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff last Saturday night, has been retired, said her trainer, Steve Asmussen. She is scheduled to be bred to Giant's Causeway, who stands in Kentucky.

Academic Angel was a stakes winner on dirt and turf, with her biggest career win coming on the grass in the Grade 3 WinStar Distaff last May at Lone Star Park. Overall, she won 11 of 26 races and $474,225. Giant's Causeway won five consecutive Group 1 races at 3, and in his lone dirt start was a hard-fought second to Tiznow in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Academic Angel, a 6-year-old daughter of Royal Academy, was bred by Cashmark Farm and races for Asmussen's brother, former champion jockey Cash Asmussen. She was one of two stakes winners Steve Asmussen saddled at Sam Houston last Saturday. The other was Two Down Automatic, whom he said will be pointed for sprint stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Two Down Automatic has fired some big races in Hot Springs, Ark. He was second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Smarty Jones, in the track's $100,000 Southwest Stakes last year, and following that race romped in the $75,000 Northern Spur Breeders' Cup on the Arkansas Derby undercard. Two Down Automatic has won recent stakes at Sam Houston and Sunland for Dapple Stables.

The upcoming sprint stakes at Oaklawn are the $50,000 King Cotton on Feb. 5 and the $50,000 Hot Springs on March 26.

* Jaded Heat, who has won his last four starts, will get his biggest test on Friday night when he starts in the seventh at Sam Houston, a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer.

Jaded Heat will meet stakes winners Front Nine and Run Zeal Run, but his biggest challenge could come from Proven Cure, a winner of $580,481. Bobby Walker Jr. has the mount on Jaded Heat, who won a two-other-than allowance for trainer Randy Mayfield in his last start.