07/29/2009 12:00AM

Asmussen loaded for La. Cup Day

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Superior Storm is expected to be a short-priced favorite in the Distaff.

BOSSIER CITY, La. - The state's finest will gather at Louisiana Downs on Saturday for Louisiana Cup Day. Eight stakes events will showcase the best in statebreds and will be worth a cumulative $750,000. The 10-race program, which also includes a maiden special weight affair and a second-level allowance on the turf for Louisiana-breds, gets under way at 1:25 p.m. Central.

Trainer Steve Asmussen should make a significant impact all afternoon, much as he did on Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs on July 4. Asmussen will send out Sax Appeal in the day's first stakes event - the Filly and Mare Sprint. Sax Appeal finished second in the Pierre LeBlanc Memorial on Legend's Night and also was the runner-up in the Powder Doll Stakes here May 23. Shane Sellers, who will ride many of Asmussen's runners Saturday, has the call.

Male sprinters take the stage in the afternoon's fourth race, and Bother Bean will attempt to continue his dominance in the division. The 6-year-old Victor Arceneaux charge has never been better and comes into Cup Day off impressive victories in the Junius Delahoussaye Memorial on Legends Night and the Big Earl Stakes here May 23 when he posted a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. Billy Patin will once again be on board.

Asmussen will send out a powerful two-horse entry in the Louisiana Cup Oaks as he will try and duplicate Seven Seventythree and Lightlightlight's one-two finish in the Frank Abadie at Evangeline. Gerard Melancon will ride Seven Seventythree, while Sellers will ride Lightlightlight.

In the Louisiana Cup Derby, the consistent Milwaukee Miracle could rule a tepid favorite off a runner-up finish in the B.B. Rayburn in his last start. Earlier this year, the Bob Young trainee captured the Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds. Veteran Curt Bourque will handle the riding chores.

Asmussen will be back again in the Juvenile Filly when he sends out Mami Wata and Happyfromthegitgo. Melancon and Sellers will once again handle the respective riding duties.

The shortest-priced favorite all afternoon will probably come in the Distaff, when Superior Storm will try and keep her perfect record in Louisiana-bred stakes races intact. Superior Storm, who suffered a minor setback and missed a scheduled work Sunday, is expected to start in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Luis Quinonez rides for trainer Rick Jackson.

In the Juvenile, D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity winner Heavenville rates as the one to beat. Sellers will ride the likely favorite for Asmussen.

The finale of Louisiana Cup appears to be the most bettable race. The Turf Classic brings together 11 solid older performers without a clear-cut favorite. Classy Deelites, a two-time stakes winner in 2009; multiple stakes winner Star Guitar; and the Bill Mott-trained veteran Desert Wheat all will likely vie for favoritism.