06/09/2004 11:00PM

Asmussen has 7 of 12 in futurity


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It's kind of an enigma. Trainer Steve Asmussen is by far the leading trainer of 2-year-olds at Lone Star Park but has never won the colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity.

That could change on Saturday, when Asmussen sends out seven of the 12 horses entered in the five-furlong race, worth $118,000. The race shares a program with the $129,000 fillies division, a race Asmussen has won four of the past five years.

As for the colts and geldings division, Asmussen has hit all around the winner's circle while starting about as many horses as he has in the fillies division.

"I can't get to the wire first," Asmussen said. "We haven't won it, but we've had unnatural luck in the fillies half."

Asmussen's representatives in this year's colts and geldings division are the undefeated Expect Will and Valid Virtue, as well as Goes, Mr. Cold Comfort, Paloo, Robbeau, and Temporary Zone.

Asmussen has been on a tear with his young horses this meet, winning with 12 of the 27 juveniles he has started at Lone Star. The second leading trainer of 2-year-olds at the meet is Ed Dodwell, who is 4 for 20.

Expect Will has been impressive. Favored in both of his starts, he has used stalk-and-pounce tactics and should get speed to chase in the finale. A half-brother to 2-year-old stakes winner Superpave, he is a son of Valid Expectations, who was trained by Asmussen.

Valid Virtue, another colt by Valid Expectations, is a front-runner who was on cruise control in his trial for the TTA Sales Futurity, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. He will be ridden by Casey Lambert, while Jeremy Beasley has the mount on Expect Will.

Shane Sellers, who teamed with Asmussen to win four stakes during Lone Star Million Day on May 31, has the mount on Goes, who was a nine-length maiden winner at Keeneland.

Among those of note in the finale not trained by Asmussen is Expect Wings, the fastest qualifier, who won a trial race in his career debut May 27. Trainer Michael Stidham has given the mount to Ted Gondron.

* Rockin' Kate, who rolled to a five-length win in her debut last out, will be favored in the fillies division for Asmussen. She will add Lasix on Saturday, and will be ridden by Sellers. Asmussen will also saddle Glitter Sexy and Berdelia in the fillies division.