12/09/2005 12:00AM

Chapa-Asmussen team a force


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Roman Chapa have been virtually unstoppable at Louisiana Downs the last two seasons, teaming up to win 16 races from 38 starters, including races at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. On Sunday they again have the one to beat in the co-featured eighth race, a seven-furlong allowance on the dirt. Extreme Storm will square off against seven rivals who will be looking for their second career wins other than maiden or claiming.

comes into Sunday's race off a somewhat disappointing effort against similar company at Churchill Downs in his last start, Nov. 8. Bet down to the role of favorite, Extreme Storm contested the early pace before weakening down the stretch to finish third. Before that effort, Extreme Storm looked every bit the part of a developing star when he scored a powerful maiden win at Hawthorne, drawing clear after forcing the issue early and earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure in the process. Not surprisingly, it was Chapa who was aboard that day, and Sunday's reunion could very well produce similar results.

The primary obstacle to Extreme Storm appears to be . Perfect in a pair of races at Delaware Park this fall, Crazy Bob will be making his first start for trainer Michael Pino, who claimed Crazy Bob for $40,000 in his last start. Carlos Gonzalez will ride.

The ninth race on the card is a $62,000 claiming race for nonwinners of three-other-than that brings together a solid group of filly and mare sprinters going six furlongs.

Twice a Deelite rates as the one to beat following a near miss at the same conditions going seven furlongs on Nov. 19. She just failed to hang on that day after controlling the pace throughout. Three of her four career wins have come at six furlongs. James Graham has been given the return call by trainer Pat Mouton.

Nicki's Wish will attempt to get her career back on track as she makes her local debut. A model of consistency for her connections until going on the shelf in midsummer, Nicki's Wish has had two subpar efforts since returning to the races in late October. In her most recent start, at Churchill Downs a month ago, she staged a modest rally before flattening out in the late stages. Sunday will mark her third start off the layoff, so it appears to be now or never for her. Trained by Walter Bindner, Nicki's Wish will be ridden by Robby Albarado.