12/04/2007 12:00AM

Curlin doing lots of jogging

EmailNEW ORLEANS - The big horse, Curlin, has added more interest than usual to training mornings at Fair Grounds.

Trainer Steve Asmussen has been leading Curlin in the morning. Jogging on the outer part of the track, against the direction of the workouts, Curlin has been out on the track for three consecutive mornings, with Asmussen leading him to an exercise pony.

"Curlin is jogging a couple of miles on the track," said Asmussen. "He's handling it really well, traveling well. We're proceeding like we have the opportunity to run him, but we're definitely a long ways away. He'll be jogging for a while."

Also in his barn is the filly Diamondaire, who won last Friday's 10th race at an unusually good price for an Asmussen horse. After taking control of the one-mile, first-level allowance on the turn, Diamondaire cruised home, winning by four lengths and paying $14.

"She ran a nice race," said Asmussen, who intends to point her to the Tiffany Lass on Jan. 12. "That's a big step up for her."

La. Handicap next for Steve's Double

Trainer Ronny Werner's career-best four wins from four starts last Saturday has him in good spirits.

"Four for four," said Werner. "Best day I've ever had, bar none."

His four wins are his only wins of the meet, good enough for eighth place in the trainer standings.

What really made Werner's day, though, was the way Steve's Double ran in the Tenacious Handicap, responding when challenged in the stretch.

"We were very pleased," said Werner, noting that when Crossword made a run at Steve's Double, "he just dug in and fought him off. You can't teach that. That's either in them or it isn't."

Steve's Double will be pointed to the Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 12.

In addition to Steve's Double, Werner is looking for a spot for Secret Gypsy, a winner at first asking at Saratoga. A 2-year-old daughter of Sea of Secrets, Secret Gypsy set the Saratoga track record for 5 1/2 furlongs, winning by 6 1/4 lengths in 1:03.26. She is being pointed toward a first-level allowance.

Euroears passes first turf test

Euroears made it 3 for 3 in the feature race last Sunday, wiring a field of second-level allowance runners while going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Euroears has done everything asked, romping through his first two races at Lone Star and Remington Park on dirt, and now winning his first on the turf.

"Obviously he answered some questions," said trainer Bret Calhoun. "I didn't know about the turf. I was proud of the way he handled it, a young horse facing tougher competition. He came out of the race great."

Calhoun hasn't picked the next spot for Euroears, but he is sure of the distance. "I'm sure we'll sprint him at least one more time before we stretch him out," he said.

Calhoun indicated that the Esplanade Stakes on Dec. 22, at 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt, was a possibility, but not a likelihood.

"It's an option, but his turf ability gives us some more opportunities," Calhoun said.

Three seek repeat on Champions card

Saturday's Louisiana Champions Day card, featuring 11 stakes and $1.1omillion in purses, drew 117 horses.

The 11 stakes, three for Quarter Horses and eight for Thoroughbreds, represent the richest day of purses exclusively for Louisiana-breds.

In the Champions Day Classic, trainer Glenn Delahoussaye brings back Costa Rising to defend his title. His chief opponent looks to be the Albert Stall-trained Grand Minit. The two horses have met twice, each claiming one victory.

Other horses returning to defend titles won at last year's Champions Day are Desert Wheat in the Champions Day Turf and Carl's Frosty Girl in the Ladies Sprint.