03/17/2004 12:00AM

Delta Downs track report


Von Braun, who was second to the undefeated Placid Star last out in the $75,000 Battler Star Handicap at Fair Grounds, is the one to beat in Friday night's $50,000 Azalea at Delta Downs.

The five-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana drew a field of seven, including stakes winners Cool Cool Cool and Spring Rade. Also in the race is Sheza Diva, who has won both of her career starts. Trained by Cyril Hicks, she makes her stakes debut.

Von Braun has finished first or second in her last four starts, and for her front-running effort in the Battler Star she earned this field's highest last-out Beyer Speed Figure. Shane Sellers will be in from Fair Grounds to ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Cool Cool Cool is looking to recapture her best form. She was an uncharacteristic 10th in the Battler Star on March 7, but that race was her first since finishing fourth in the $100,000 Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds in December.

Last year, Cool Cool Cool was up for a nose win over the well-regarded Cabildo Bag in the $50,000 Laurel Lane at Louisiana Downs. Trainer Troy Young has given the mount to leading rider Steve Bourque.