10/29/2004 12:00AM

Beau's Town gives turf a try

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Turf has long been mentioned as an option for Beau's Town, who on Sunday will test the surface for the first time in the $40,000 Total Rewards at Louisiana Downs. The five-furlong turf race will close out the meet and drew a field of 11 horses, including turf sprint specialist Aloha Bold.

Beau's Town was headed for the Breeders' Cup Sprint until a few weeks ago, when his connections discovered his blood counts were a little off, the after-effects of an intestinal virus Beau's Town overcame in the summer. Owner Dave Hulkewicz and trainer Cole Norman determined it would be best to pass on a top-class race like the Sprint.

The Total Rewards gives Beau's Town a chance to ease back into racing. He drops in class from the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup and does not have to ship, because the race is at his home base. He is also racing over five furlongs instead of his typical six. Tracy Hebert will ride Beau's Town, who is a son of Beau Genius and the Kerosene mare Frio Town.

"He's got some pedigree for turf," said Hulkewicz.

Beau's Town worked on the grass Oct. 24, going four furlongs in 49.80 seconds. He has won 11 of 19 starts, including the 2003 running of the Bing Crosby.

Norman headed for seventh training title

Nothing will stop Cole Norman from winning his seventh straight Louisiana Downs training title Sunday. He led the standings by 59 wins through Thursday, with a record of 108 victories from 376 starters at the track.

Steve Asmussen is the second-leading trainer at the meet, with 49 wins from 219 starters, and is in position to win a second straight owner title at Louisiana Downs. He has won with 16 of 54 starters as an owner through Thursday, two wins ahead of Charles Hukill and Ken Murphy Thoroughbreds.

Jockey Lonnie Meche will lock up the riding title Sunday, with 158 wins through Thursday, 45 more than second-leading rider John Jacinto.

The winningest horse at the meet was Zarb's Dahar, who went 6 for 6 and won a sprint stakes during the Louisiana Breeders' Festival. Zarb's Dahar and Happy Ticket, who was 5 for 5 this meet, were voted co-horses of the meet at Louisiana Downs.

* Louisiana Downs will conduct its first Quarter Horse meet beginning Nov. 11. The season will run through Dec. 12.

* Special first post Sunday is 12:30 p.m. Central.