11/02/2005 12:00AM

Asmussen's turf females deliver


First came Paz Ciudadana, and now More Than Promised. Trainer Steve Asmussen's dominance of turf races for fillies and mares in the region has been overwhelming, with those two runners alone winning a combined six stakes since May.

More Than Promised won her second straight stakes on Oct. 21 at Remington Park, when she rolled to an eye-catching 8 1/4- length score in a division of the track's $40,000 Oaks. Prior to that race, she won the $75,000 DeBartolo Memorial at Louisiana Downs on Oct. 1 and an allowance at Arlington Park.

"She's a good filly, and I think she'll be a good older mare," said Asmussen, who trains More Than Promised for Vinery Stables.

Asmussen said the next target for More Than Promised is the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. He is pointing the filly for the $75,000 Pago Hop for 3-year-old fillies at about 1 1/16 miles on turf on Nov. 26.

"It suits her," said Asmussen, citing several reasons, including the spacing between the Pago Hop and the Remington Park Oaks.

Paz Ciudadana, 5, has won two stakes at Louisiana Downs, one at Remington, and one at Retama since May.

More Than Promised was one of two stakes winners Asmussen sent out at Remington on Oct. 21, when the track put on five stakes, including the $150,000 Oklahoma Derby. His other winner was the 2-year-old Test Boy in the $75,000 MEC Mile.

"We've got a lot of options for him," Asmussen said.

He said that Test Boy, who is stakes-placed on turf, could move back to grass for the $40,000 Centennial at Remington on Nov. 28. Another option is to remain on dirt for the $75,000 Eddy County at one mile at Zia Park on Nov. 25.

Asmussen was represented in the Oklahoma Derby, too, with Real Dandy, who finished a fast-closing second behind Military Major.

"Real Dandy runs so good," said Asmussen. "He just couldn't get to the last one, but he never quit trying."

Asmussen has not made next-race plans for Real Dandy, but said a possible option could be the $100,000 Zia Park Derby on Dec. 3. Earlier this year, Real Dandy won the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby.

Oklahoma Derby and Friday a match

The Oklahoma Derby on a Friday night could become a tradition. Remington moved the richest race of its meet to a Friday night for the first time this year, and plans are to run it back on a Friday night in 2006.

Handle was up on the Oklahoma Derby card compared to last year, when it was run on a Sunday.

"We were very pleased with the results," said Scott Wells, general manager of Remington. "We feel like a Friday night is a time when we can step up and shine in the big scheme of things. We're going to look at rescheduling some of our more important stakes races on Friday nights."

There were four supporting stakes on Oklahoma Derby Night this year, and Remington intends to keep that multi-stakes format in place for 2006. It was also in place in 2004.

"We want to make it a big event," said Wells.

Long meet for Will Rogers

The 12-date meet that was to open Saturday at Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa has been canceled, and the track instead has been granted a 42-date meet in early 2006 from the Oklahoma Racing Commission. The meet will run from Feb. 24 through May 28.

Will Rogers last had racing in 2001. Cherokee Nation Enterprises purchased the track in 2004 and put $2 million in improvements into the facility. Currently, the barns and racing surface are being renovated.

Will Rogers will also be operating a 250-station electronic gaming casino in the near future, since the commission last month awarded a gaming license to Will Rogers.

* Kelly Cathey has been named the new racing secretary at Will Rogers. He last served as assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator at Retama Park near San Antonio.

* Jazzy Gold, who picked up the second stakes win of her career in the $40,000 Gaylord for 2-year-old fillies at Remington Park on Oct. 15, is being pointed toward the $40,000 Cimarron at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf, said her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

* Blue Ribbon Downs became the first track in Oklahoma to operate gaming machines when it opened its casino Oct. 17.