01/11/2006 12:00AM

Asmussen in all four stakes


BOSSIER CITY, La. - The Fair Grounds meet might have been uprooted and lifted to Louisiana Downs by Hurricane Katrina, but Churchill Downs Inc. has not changed its business plan. CDI racetracks all trot out full-tilt multi-stakes days during their seasons, and the biggest one at the displaced Fair Grounds meet comes Saturday.

The four stakes on a program dubbed Road to the Derby Kickoff Day were drawn Wednesday, with the featured , a $250,000 Grade 3 for 3-year-olds, attracting a field of seven. It is headed by Florida shipper Saint Augustus, local hopefuls Hyte Regency and Midway Man, and the Oaklawn Park-based Lawyer Ron.

Eight 3-year-old fillies, including the undefeated French Park, went into the Grade 3, $250,000 Silverbulletday. The $250,000 Duncan F. Kenner for older sprinters on dirt drew nine horses - four of them from trainer Cole Norman's barn - while eight older female turf horses, led by the Christophe Clement-trained Snowdrops, were entered in the Grade 3, $250,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Plenty of out-of-town talent will wind up in Bossier City this weekend, but meet leader Steve Asmussen is the only trainer with a horse for all four stakes.

"It's a million dollars' worth of races," Asmussen said. "I want to be involved."

The Asmussen-trained Midway Man needed three tries to win a maiden race, but he broke through with a powerful two-turn victory here Dec. 11. "He's coming around," Asmussen said.

From trainer Todd Pletcher's vast array of 3-year-old stakes horses comes Saint Augustus, who scored a 12-1 upset in the What a Pleasure Stakes on Dec. 3 at Calder. Pletcher also is sending 3-year-old filly Cappozene, most recently third in the $100,000 Three Ring at Calder, for the Silverbulletday.

But French Park shipped in Wednesday from Florida, and clearly is the one to beat in the Silverbulletday. French Park won all three of her races at 2, including a pair of graded stakes at Churchill.

Absent from the Risen Star are a pair of horses that racing officials here hoped to attract: the unbeaten local colt Corredor de Plata, who may instead start in an Oaklawn Park sprint stakes, and the Bob Baffert-trained Wanna Runner, a winner of two straight races in Southern California.