07/22/2003 11:00PM

Louisiana Downs track report


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Carlos Gonzalez is very familiar with the winner's circle at Louisiana Downs. In fact, he ranks seventh on the all-time jockey standings with nearly 900 wins here. The leading rider in 1999, Gonzalez has now returned to Bossier City after spending most of the past two seasons riding at Calder Race Course in Florida.

Bettors who have been backing Gonzalez have been rewarded handsomely, as he has already won with several longshots, including Evasive Decision ($118) on Thursday.

"It feels great to be winning races here again," said Gonzalez, 38. "I didn't realize how many friends I have around here. I appreciate the support they're giving me, and it's nice to be close to my kids in Arkansas."

On Sunday, Gonzalez teamed up with another Louisiana Downs veteran: the 9-year-old Rebridled, last year's Barksdale and Alliance Handicap winner, who won for the 15th time in his 79th career start.

"He's an old fighter," Gonzalez said. "He knows what's going on out there, which allows me to ride him with a lot of confidence."

Rebridled ($19.40) beat a very talented group of runners, including Big Hubie, Skate Away, and last year's horse of the meet, Walk in the Snow.

* Trainer Steve Asmussen wanted The Niner Account for a long time. In December, he finally got him, claiming him for $10,000, and since then The Niner Account has won both of his starts by a combined 21 1/2 lengths. On Sunday, the 5-year-old son of Unaccounted For turned in what was by far the fastest 6 1/2-furlong race of the meet when he blitzed a starter allowance field by 10 1/2 lengths in 1:16.11. In his 2003 debut, he won a $10,000 claiming race at Lone Star Park by 11 lengths.

Asmussen first became familiar with The Niner Account at a Fasig-Tipton sale at Calder Race Course four years ago. Asmussen had the colt vetted out, but the ultrasound came back "iffy" on a tendon, so he passed.

"I have always known he had ability, freakish ability," said Asmussen. "He has a bowed tendon, but I decided to take a shot. After all, I've spent more than $10,000 on a bad pony before. We sent him to our farm in Laredo [Texas], freshened him up, and now I am hoping to have some fun with him. I'll look for some easy spots and try to keep his tendon intact. He's not slow."