01/02/2003 12:00AM

Asmussenhas double in sights


Steve Asmussen, who saddled more winners than any other trainer in 2002, is in a good position to win the Saturday night stakes at both Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and Delta Downs in Vinton, La.

Asmussen has the probable favorites for both races, with the consistent Term Sheet taking on 11 other older horses at seven furlongs in the $50,000 Sprint Handicap at Sam Houston, and Slam Bam looking to run back to the 93 Beyer Speed Figure he earned last out in the $40,000 Triple Sec for 3-year-olds at Delta.

Term Sheet, who used stalking tactics to win the allowance prep for the Sprint Handicap, will have to run down Houston newcomer Coldiron Slew on Saturday. In his last start, Coldiron Slew set fast fractions of 21.80 seconds and 44.40 in the $30,000 Autumn Classic at six furlongs at Remington Park before finishing second, beaten a half-length by top regional sprinter Medium Rare.

Coldiron Slew earned a 102 Beyer. Kevin Cogburn has the mount on Coldiron Slew for trainer Roger Engel.

Glen Murphy will ride Term Sheet, who beat several of the same horses he meets Saturday by 1 1/4 lengths in the Dec. 18 prep. Before that race, Term Sheet found himself farther back than usual in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas for statebreds, and closed with a rush for third, beaten a length in a six-furlong race that went in a strong 1:10.

Others of note in the Sprint Handicap include the promising Agrivating General, who cuts back in distance after winning the $30,000 Magnolia in his two-turn debut last out.

"He's shown me a ton of heart," said Terry Stanton, the leading rider at Sam Houston, who has the mount for trainer Danny Pish.

In the five-furlong Triple Sec at Delta, it is tough to get past the big Beyer that Slam Bam earned last out for his win in an entry-level allowance at Fair Grounds on Dec. 6. He led throughout in the six-furlong race, which was his first start since July.

Slam Bam has worked well following that race, and given Asmussen's success shipping into Delta this meet - he is 6 for 16 - Slam Bam looks imposing under Corey Lanerie.

Threats to Slam Bam include Mighty Merlin, whose two career wins have come at five furlongs, including the $50,000 Juvenile for statebreds at Delta, and Constant Commotion, another two-time winner at five furlongs.