11/18/2004 12:00AM

Coronado Rose goes for third straight

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Coronado Rose is one of 13 horses trainer Steve Asmussen will be starting in stakes in Texas and Louisiana on Saturday night. She will be shooting for her third straight win, taking on probable favorite True Tails in the $40,000 Delta Belle for 2-year-old fillies at Delta Downs.

Asmussen's other stakes starters will be at Sam Houston Race Park, where he has 12 horses in eight of the nine stakes making up Texas Champions Day. Asmussen is close to breaking Jack Van Berg's record of 496 wins by a trainer in a calendar year. Asmussen had won 486 races this year through Wednesday.

Coronado Rose has done her part for Asmussen. She won her maiden in her second start, drawing off to a 7 1/4-length win in an Oct. 24 race at Keeneland.

She returned one start later and won the $52,000 Princess Handicap at Sunland Park on Nov. 6.

Coronado Rose was prominent throughout in the Princess, when she covered six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.60.

She will shorten up to five furlongs for the Delta Belle.

"The five furlongs at Delta is a very good spot," said Asmussen. "We know she's quick."

Brian Hernandez has the mount for owners Oceanfront Property and Keith Asmussen, Steve's father.

True Tails, also a front-runner, figures to go off favored. She will break outside of Coronado Rose, and has won her last two starts by a combined 12 1/2 lengths.

True Tails won her maiden at Louisiana Downs by 5 1/4 lengths Oct. 14, then defeated stakes company one start later, when she drew out to a 7 1/4-length win in the $50,000 Lone Star Park Juvenile Fillies, covering six furlongs in 1:09.60. Jamie Theriot has the mount for trainer Cole Norman.