01/06/2005 12:00AM

Crimson Stag gets first try at two turns


NEW ORLEANS - Crimson Stag, the impressive winner of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile in his last start, heads a field of seven entered for Saturday's Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds.

will be trying two turns for the first time in his career in the Crescent City, which is run as a handicap for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds at 1 1/16 miles. Crimson Stag will carry high weight of 122 pounds.

Trainer Dallas Stewart has kept Crimson Stag sharp for this race, working him a half-mile in 48 seconds last week.

"I got a pretty good blow into him," said Stewart. "I worked him pretty hard, because he's going to need that going around two turns. He's been training great, and I don't see any reason why this spot shouldn't be perfect for him."

Crimson Stag had raced exclusively in open company for West Point Thoroughbreds before the Champions Day Juvenile. He should be hard to beat Saturday under Robby Albarado.

Though none of the horses in the Crescent City field have run at 1 1/16 miles, several have experience around two turns. Surgeon of Choice is 2 for 2 at this Fair Grounds meet, including a sharp score at a mile in his last start. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Surgeon of Choice will carry 120 pounds, including Donnie Meche.

, who will carry 115 pounds, has raced on turf for most of his brief career, winning his maiden on the grass and placing second in the $75,000 Harrah's Juvenile on the turf at Louisiana Downs. Zarb's Music Man tuned up for this assignment in a mile race on the dirt, finishing third to Surgeon of Choice. Elvis Perrodin has the call for trainer Richard Jackson.

, a Royal Anthem colt trained by Andrew Leggio, won his maiden at a mile over the Fair Grounds strip last out and will carry 116 pounds.

Rounding out the field are Witness to a Fight, who finished fourth behind Crimson Stag in the Juvenile, then returned to win the Louisiana Futurity; St. Roch, third to Crimson Stag in the Juvenile; and Jake's No Angel, who won his maiden at a mile at Fair Grounds in a claiming race last time out.