09/23/2003 11:00PM

Brennan goes 5 for 5 at Louisiana Downs


BOSSIER CITY, La. - It seemed like trainer Terry Brennan could not lose at Louisiana Downs last week. In fact, he didn't.

Brennan rolled a perfect week, winning with all five of his starters. He had training doubles on Friday and Sunday, and sandwiched in between, sent out Blocked Call to win his fourth straight race on Thursday.

That's the kind of meet it has been for Brennan. He had won with 12 of 21 starters through Wednesday, and ranks fifth in the standings at Louisiana Downs.

"We've been lucky so far," said Brennan, 53. "We came in with a lot of horses that had conditions, and the book fit."

Brennan is back at Louisiana Downs for the first time since the mid-1980's. Typically based in Kentucky, he sent his stable here in July to be closer to his father, retired trainer Jean Brennan, who had a heart attack in May. The Brennans all live near Oaklawn Park, which is just a three-hour drive from Louisiana Downs.

"He's doing a lot better," said Brennan. "He was here [Friday] for the races."

The younger Brennan has 14 horses at Louisiana Downs, and another 12 to 14 in training at his Grayrock Farm near Oaklawn. Next month, he plans to send about 10 horses to Churchill Downs, and later this year, will send a small string to Fair Grounds.

One colt he is excited about is Was My Case, who won his maiden Friday. "I think he's a real good horse," said Brennan, who plans to run the colt through his conditions. Was My Case is a 3-year-old by Gold Case.

Brennan's stakes winners in recent years include White Beauty and Smolderin Heart, who stands stud at Grayrock. Brennan said for the upcoming season the stakes winner Etbauer will be joining the stallion battery at Grayrock.

Warleigh pays quick dividends

It's a bold move to claim a horse for $100,000, but Steve Asmussen did just that on Aug. 23 when he took Warleigh out of a race at Saratoga. Asmussen got an immediate return on his investment when he sent out Warleigh to win the $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap last Sunday.

Warleigh cruised home by more than eighth lengths in that race, and for his effort earned $60,000. Warleigh has now won his last four starts.

By claiming Warleigh, Asmussen filled a gap in his stable in this region.

"I'm trying to replace Nat's Big Party," said Asmussen.

Nat's Big Party won or placed in a number of this area's biggset turf stakes for Asmussen in 2001 and 2002. Among his wins were the $100,000 Independence Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs.

'Pie' on BC undercard?

Pie N Burger, one of this region's top handicap horses who finished an uncharacteristic ninth in the Louisiana Downs Handicap, came out of the race fine and might make his next start at Santa Anita in the $150,000 Seabiscuit Handicap, said his trainer, Cole Norman.

The 1 1/16-mile dirt race will be held on the Breeders' Cup undercard Oct. 25. Norman is pointing three of his trainees, Beau's Town, Wacky Patty, and Mass Media, for the Breeders' Cup.

Pie N Burger, who had won four straight races heading into the Louisiana Downs Handicap, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, did not seem to care for the yielding turf course Sunday.

"I don't want to rule out turf all together for him," said Norman, who trains Pie N Burger for Kagele Brothers and James Bailey. "It was hard to put a gauge on it because the turf was soaked."

Yearlings on block in Louisiana

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will hold its annual yearling sale at Louisiana Downs on Monday and Tuesday. Among the sires represented are Alphabet Soup, Bag, Jade Hunter, Kipper Kelly, Lil's Lad, Lit de Justice, Our Emblem, Sandpit, Valid Expectations, and Zuppardo's Prince.

Overall, there are 229 yearlings cataloged to the sale, and following that portion of the sale a mixed session for broodmares and horses of racing age well be held. The sales pavilion is located near the stable area at Louisiana Downs.

* Topango, who won the $100,000 La Senorita at Retama Park in her most recent start, is being pointed for the $100,000 Jessamine County at Keeneland on Oct. 23, said her trainer, John Locke. The filly has won 3 of 4 starts, and has never been beaten around two turns on turf, the conditions of the Jessamine.

* Goodbye Beautiful, a half-sister to 2-year-old stakes winner Legs O'Neal, overpowered a field of 2-year-old statebred fillies last Saturday at Louisiana Downs and could make her next start in the $50,000 Laurel Lane at the track on Oct. 11, said her trainer, Wes Hawley.

* Stakes winners Coastalota and Asheville will meet in the featured ninth race Friday night at Retama.

* Louisiana Downs is scheduled to run Quarter Horse trial races Wednesday.