02/22/2007 12:00AM

Asmussen could continue hot streak


Just last weekend trainer Steve Asmussen swept both Sunland Park stakes. He has a good chance to continue to ride that wave Saturday when he sends out the strong duo of Annika Lass and Handlewoman in the $50,000 Santa Teresa Handicap. The 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares lured a field of 11.

Annika Lass, the 122-pound highweight, has traveled the country. She comes off a rallying third in the Pan Zareta Breeders' Cup at Fair Grounds on Feb. 3. Last year Annika Lass, a 6-year-old daughter of Mister Jolie, ran third in a pair of Grade 2 races at Aqueduct, fifth in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder, and second in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont. She ran well in stakes at Delaware and Arlington, too, so there's ample quality here. Casey Lambert rides.

Handlewoman is less accomplished, though that could change rapidly. A

4-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, Handlewoman comes off a seven-length romp in an allowance race here Jan. 30. She showed promise last year with some good performances against tough company at Gulfstream, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Saratoga, and Monmouth. Prior to her allowance win she was third behind Tempting Date and Texas Kitty in the Bold Ego Handicap at Sunland Dec. 31. Glen Murphy rides.

Tempting Date and Texas Kitty are back for more, too. Tempting Date looked good wiring the field in the Bold Ego for trainer Chris Hartman on Dec. 31. She has loads of speed, and a bullet four-furlong work in 47 seconds, breezing, here Feb. 17 signals she's sharp and ready for her return. Ken Tohill, up for her Bold Ego win, has the call again.

Texas Kitty invaded from Southern California to be second behind Tempting Date in the Bold Ego, chasing the winner every step. Trained by Henry Dominguez, she boasts some sharp works for this race. Alfredo Juarez Jr. rides.