09/30/2003 11:00PM

Hall of Fame bash is Asmussen family affair


The annual Hall of Fame night at Retama Park near San Antonio on Saturday will be a family affair in a number of ways for the Asmussens of Laredo, Texas.

Former champion jockey Cash Asmussen will be inducted into the Texas Hall that night, while his brother, trainer Steve Asmussen, will start a number of top contenders on the seven-stakes card that will follow. One of those horses is owned by the brothers' father, Keith Asmussen.

Roundabout Jones, who in his last start won the Friendship Stakes at Louisiana Downs, will try to extend his perfect 2 for 2 record in the colts and geldings division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes.

Keith Asmussen also bred Roundabout Jones, with his wife, Marilyn Asmussen. The colt's female family has meant a lot to all of the Asmussens.

"The family's been great," said Steve Asmussen, the nation's second-leading trainer by wins and third-leading trainer by purse money earned. "The mare that he's out of won the Friendship in 1993, and her mother was my second winner ever as a trainer. We've had several foals out of both mares that have done a lot of good."

Roundabout Jones is from the mare Traceys Rock, who has also produced stakes winners Royal Roundabout and Hannah's Royalrock, winner of the fillies division of the Friendship Stakes last year at Louisiana Downs.

"He's holding up the family legacy," said Asmussen, who also plans to start defending champ Desert Darby in the night's featured race, the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes.

Cash Asmussen is touring race courses in England and France this weekend with Lone Star Park officials in order to provide information to horsemen there about the Texas track because it will host the Breeders' Cup in 2004. He was a five-time champion jockey in France.

Others to be inducted in the Texas Hall are the late Willard Proctor, a Texas native who trained 58 stakes winners, including Convenience, Lovlier Linda, and Gallant Romeo; Allen Bogan, who died in 1997 after covering racing for Texas newspapers for 60 years; Two Altazano, a Texas-bred who won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks; Ott Adams, an influential breeder of Quarter Horses; and Three Ohs, winner of the 1968 All-American Futurity for Quarter Horses.