01/29/2003 12:00AM

Asmussen's fresh idea for Lady Tak

Email

NEW ORLEANS - Lady Tak, an easy winner of the $100,000 Tiffany Lass here last Sunday, won't risk her unbeaten record again until the Grade 2, $350,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 8. Trainer Steve Asmussen said Lady Tak "came out of the race in great shape" but he preferred to give her a breather between starts.

"We'll skip the next one and just train her up to the Oaks," Asmussen said.

Asmussen's decision means Lady Tak won't start on Feb. 15 in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, the prep for the Oaks. The Silverbulletday is the next stop in the Fair Grounds series of stakes races for 3-year-old fillies. Barring a ship-in of high standing, Lady Tak would have been favored. But Lady Tak already has run twice in six weeks, and Asmussen is hoping to come into the Oaks with a fresh horse this year.

Asmussen is basing his plan on the path he followed last season with Lake Lady, who like Lady Tak was a brilliant sprinter able to stretch her speed to two turns and win the one-mile Tiffany Lass. Lake Lady came back in the Silverbulletday and finished fourth, though she rebounded to be second in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

"I think maybe I should have done this last year with Lake Lady," Asmussen said.

Instead of Lady Tak, Asmussen said he will point the Grade 3 winner Souris for the Silverbulletday. "We won't be empty there," he said.

Rebridled Dreams in strong work

Lady Tak's absence could open up the Grade 2 Silverbulletday, and a new player in the division is looming. Rebridled Dreams, a winner of two straight races here, remains on target for the Silverbulletday and continues her surprising arc of improvement.

Rebridled Dreams won her maiden in a sprint early this meet and stretched out to a route distance to win an allowance race in her next start. Both races were solid and showed Rebridled Dreams was moving in the right direction, but a major workout here on Saturday morning was extraordinary.

Working over a surface that was still fairly dull after a freeze, Rebridled Dreams worked six furlongs in 1:12.80, a time normally reserved for actual races at Fair Grounds. There were no other six-furlong works Saturday, but the fastest five-furlong move went in about 1:02. Typically, a strong six-furlong breeze here is anything under 1:14.

"We weren't shooting for anything like that," trainer Bret Calhoun said. "I didn't catch the first part of it, but she did it very easily. Eddie Martin rode her, and he got off really pleased with her."

Calhoun had Rebridled Dreams last summer at Arlington, and as an unraced filly Calhoun didn't think she was anything special. But Rebridled Dreams started coming around last fall, and now Calhoun can't tell how good she might be.

"She's gotten better every week for the last four months," Calhoun said.

During that time, Calhoun's business has undergone major changes. A Texas-based trainer who has run at other venues in the Midwest, Calhoun's stable typically numbers somewhere around 40 or 50 horses. Now, between active strings at Sam Houston and Fair Grounds, he has about 80 active horses, with many more out of action. There are also 2-year-olds at various training centers to be accounted for. A major infusion came in the early part of last November when Robert Beck's Coast to Coast Racing Fund turned many of its horses over to Calhoun.

"The biggest problem has been finding stall space and the business end of things," Calhoun said. "As far as training the horses, it's been a pretty smooth transition."

Flop by Most Feared a mystery

Trainer Ronny Werner still is trying to figure out what went wrong with Most Feared on Saturday when the colt finished 10th of 11 as the favorite in the $100,000 Lecomte Handicap.

"We're still in the process of going over him," Werner said. "I don't know if it's good or bad, but we haven't found anything yet. We're hoping he's just a horse that takes a lot of training and didn't like coming back from a layoff. But usually there's some kind of reason, and we're trying to find it."

Most Feared hadn't raced since he finished a strong third last November in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill. In the Lecomte, he raced fairly close to a moderate pace for a half-mile, but faded badly in the latter part of the race.

Meanwhile, Werner said that the colt Badge of Silver came out of a fast win in a sprint allowance race last week in fine fashion and remained on target for a start in the Risen Star Stakes. Werner said Badge of Silver will probably will breeze this weekend.

Stewart prospects impress

Trainer Dallas Stewart unveiled a major part of his future Wednesday morning when he saddled six horses in three schooling races here. The future looked pretty good after Stewart won two of the races.

His horse in the third, Guardian, was especially sharp winning by three lengths after showing good speed. Molto Vita had speed winning the second heat while Gray Cache, who had trouble early on, finished well and galloped out strongly past the wire.

Other horses to watch from the schooling races are Unleash the Law (trainer Bobby Barnett) and Grendel (Al Stall).