12/05/2001 12:00AM

LeJeune on top at Sam Houston


Jockey Sidney LeJeune Jr., who was aboard Balkan in the Groovy, is making an impression in his first season at Sam Houston. The rider has won with 29 percent of his mounts this meet to top the standings with 16 wins, two more than second-leading rider Roman Chapa.

LeJeune came to Sam Houston to ride primarily for Asmussen, who leads the trainer standings. LeJeune said he learned of the opportunity to ride for Asmussen through his wife's uncle, jockeys' agent Shawn Bergquist.

LeJeune, an Arkansas native who began his riding career at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., won the Thoroughbred riding title at Prairie Meadows in 1998, and has since been a fixture at Hoosier Park. He and his wife, Karen, are expecting their first child in three months. After Sam Houston closes in March, LeJeune plans to move to Dallas to compete at Lone Star Park.

Lights on Broadway to get a rest

Lights on Broadway completed a sweep of the year's two richest dirt races for Texas-breds last Saturday night when he won his second consecutive $100,000 Star of Texas at Sam Houston.

Earlier this season, the colt won the $150,000 Assault for statebreds at Lone Star, and is now going on vacation.

"We're going to turn him out for 45 days, and bring him back for Lone Star," said trainer C.W. "Bubba" Cascio.

* Coastalota, who overcame a troubled trip and a six-week layoff to win the $75,000 Martanza Handicap last Saturday at Sam Houston, will likely make her next start in the track's $50,000 Distaff Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on

Jan. 12, said trainer Randy Mayfield. In that race, she could meet top Oklahoma-bred filly Devout Sinner.

* Joan Charlton, who campaigns Devout Sinner, has leased Prospector's Music from Wafare Farm in Lexington, Ky., and will stand the stallion in partnership with Dr. Joe Carter at Oklahoma Equine Hospital in Washington, Okla. A son of Mr. Prospector and Irish 2-year-old champion Minestrella, he will stand for $2,000. "With the Slewacide mares around here, he ought to be a good nick," said Charlton.

* The Texas Racing Commission has allocated Sam Houston an estimated $412,500 for purses next year from an escrowed cross-species simulcast account that is projected at $1.1 million. Retama Park was awarded $381,700 of the funds, while Lone Star is to receive $202,400 throughout 2002.

* Roman Chapa and longtime girlfriend Rosslyn Rivera plan to get married early next spring. Rivera accepted Chapa's proposal last Saturday in the winner's circle following the rider's win aboard Peppy Priscilla in the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes.

* Sly Kona's win in last Saturday's $50,000 Bara Lass came two days after her sire, Soft and Sly, died. Sly Kona's trainer, Asmussen, said he hasn't decided where she will race next.