07/28/2005 11:00PM

Asmussen entry heavily favored

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BOSSIER CITY, LA. - The barn of national training leader Steve Asmussen has been conspicuously quiet here the first half of the season but you certainly wouldn't know that looking at Sunday's Southern Beau Stakes. Asmussen's entry of Here Tiger and Willtosucceed will rule as the heavy favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong race for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds.

Each half of the Asmussen entry comes in off an impressive maiden score. The two victories represent a full 25 percent of the barn's win total here just past the halfway point of the meeting.

The two colts appear almost interchangeable with almost identical form. Each ran third in his debut before graduating in his second career start. Here Tiger ran a slightly higher Beyer Speed Figure winning his maiden after going on Lasix for the first time. But Willtosucceed will add Lasix for the first time on Sunday and might have been facing a slightly tougher foe in the past.

Carson Bay, who defeated Willtosucceed on June 10, will be highly regarded in Saturday night's $100,000 D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity at Evangeline Downs after qualifying in a trial there on July 16.

Carlos Gonzalez will again ride Here Tiger, as he has in both previous starts, and Gerard Melancon retains the mount on Willtosucceed. The Heiligbrodt Racing Stable owns both.

The main opposition to the entry appears to be Coalhouse, a Jerry Hardin trainee who turned in a game effort in winning at first asking.

Coalhouse ran in an open maiden special weight race on June 26 as an 11-1 outsider. Coalhouse stalked the early pace, challenged through the turn, and won by a neck following a long stretch drive. He will face fellow Louisiana-breds for the first time in the Southern Beau, and, like Willtosucceed, will race on Lasix for the first time. Don Simington will again be in the saddle.

Isabella Symphoney makes the journey north from Evangeline Downs, where he delivered a furious rally to win his maiden on July 16 at a whopping 40-1. Should a heated pace battle develop up front, Isabella Symphoney might be in position to take advantage. Wilfredo Lozano Jr., aboard for the maiden score, will also journey north to ride for trainer Doris Hebert.

First-time starter Carroll's Delight and fellow maiden Desert Wheat complete the field for the Southern Beau.