11/13/2003 12:00AM

Excessivepleasure draws post 3


Earlier this week, trainer Doug O'Neill said he would like to see Excessivepleasure draw outside of the other speed horses in the Grade 3, $150,000 Oklahoma Derby. He got his wish on Thursday when Excessivepleasure landed post 3 in the six-horse field, right outside of his main pace rival, Kool Humor.

The Oklahoma Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race to be run at Remington Park on Sunday, is the richest stakes of the meet. Excessivepleasure was made the 6-5 morning-line favorite, followed by 5-2 second choice Kool Humor.

The complete field from the rail, with riders, is: Comic Truth, Rafael Bejarano; Kool Humor, Kerwin Clark; Excessivepleasure, Jon Court; Tap Tap, Kevin Cogburn; Morning Merry, Jason Eads; and Grayglen, Benny Landeros.

Excessivepleasure won the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby in front-running style over Grande Hombre and Wando in his last start, Oct. 4.

Post time for the Oklahoma Derby is 4:26 p.m. Central.

On the Saturday undercard at Remington, a full field of 12 will meet in the $35,000 Oaks, a one-mile turf race. The top contenders include Are You Home, who is shooting for her fourth straight win; Sanibel Sunset, who invades for trainer Cole Norman; and Caviar Emptor.

Big day for Seneca Jones

The stallion Seneca Jones, who stands at Asmussen Horse Center in Laredo, Texas, will be getting a lot of play on his 2-year-olds during Texas Champions Day Saturday at Sam Houston. His offspring include Seneca Summer, who will be shooting for his fourth straight win in the $150,000 Sam Houston Texan Juvenile, and Roundabout Jones, one of the favorites for the $50,000 Groovy.

Seneca Jones, a son of Alydar and 1986 champion 3-year-old Tiffany Lass, is having perhaps his best year since he entered stud in 1994, and that is no coincidence. Marilyn Asmussen, a longtime horsewoman, said her husband, breeder Keith Asmussen, did some extensive research to find what mares would better cross with the stallion before the breeding season that produced Seneca Summer and Roundabout Jones.

"This is the first year he's had the opportunity to prove himself," Marilyn Asmussen said of Seneca Jones after watching Seneca Summer and Roundabout Jones run first and third in a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes last month at Retama.

Seneca Summer won a maiden race and a conditioned claimer before his win in the Stallion Stakes, while Roundabout Jones's biggest score came in the $70,000 Friendship at Louisiana Downs.

Steve Asmussen, the son of Keith and Marilyn, trains both horses. In all, he has entered 16 horses on the Texas Champions Day program, and is represented by at least one horse in each of the 10 races Saturday.

Post time plays to simulcast outlets

Sam Houston Race Park will have a special 6 p.m. Central post for Texas Champions Day, a start time designed to maximize handle at simulcast outlets, said Bob Bork, president of Sam Houston.

Bork said that track management had analyzed the betting patterns on Texas Champions Day, "and what we found was that the betting patterns started increasing at 6 p.m. That's just about when a lot of the East Coast tracks are finishing up, so we thought we could hold the people from the East Coast tracks and keep them watching our live program when it starts."

Sam Houston is sending its races into New York for the first time this year, and the track is averaging $100,000 a night on its signal there, said Bork. He said the track's races are sent to New York City Off-Track Betting, and all of the regional off-track betting sites in the state. This week, Sam Houston was expected to start sending its races into Yonkers Raceway in New York.

Bork's goal for Texas Champions Day is to better last year's handle of $2.9 million and attendance of 10,822.

* How good is Herve coming into the $50,000 Spirit of Texas on Saturday at Sam Houston? "He worked like a monster the other day and since then he's been trying to fight everybody," said his trainer, Andrew Konkoly. "He's snorting and prancing when he walks the shed row. I think right now he's on top of his game."

* Scott Ehlers of Daily Racing Form and Reid McLellan of Sam Houston will be conducting a free Texas Champions Day handicapping seminar on Saturday. There is also a free $2,500 online handicapping contest at www.shrp.com covering the stakes on Texas Champions Day.

* Former jockey Jayme Larocca and his wife, Angela, had their first child, Victoria Elizabeth, last weekend. Larocca is the simulcast coordinator for The Woodlands in Kansas City, Kan.