07/04/2004 11:00PM

Lunarpal still perfect

Lunarpal, ridden by Shane Sellers, wins the Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Lunarpal remained unbeaten by turning back Storm Surge in a race-long duel Monday in the Bashford Manor Stakes. The win gave Lunarpal a sweep of all three stakes for 2-year-olds at the Churchill Downs spring meet while also clinching the meet training title for Steve Asmussen.

Lunarpal, ridden by Shane Sellers, finished a neck ahead of Storm Surge to win the $163,200 Bashford Manor, the highlight of the closing-day program at the 53-day Churchill meet. Bred and owned by Bill Heiligbrodt, Lunarpal added the Grade 3 Bashford Manor to three previous wins that included the Three Chimneys Juvenile and Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill. Only Favorite Trick, in 1997, previously had swept all three.

"I'm proud of him," Asmussen said afterward. Reminded that the win gave him the training title, he said: "I'm proud of that, too."

Lunarpal returned $4.20 as favorite in a field of seven. Storm Surge, an Overbrook Farm homebred making just his second career, pressed Lunarpal on the lead from the start but narrowly fell short. At the wire, it was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Maximus C, who was followed by Smoke Warning, Copy My Notes, Raise Ole Glory, and Proper Carson.

Both Lunarpal and Storm Surge are headed for the Saratoga meet that begins late this month.

"My colt ran a great race," said Dallas Stewart, trainer of Storm Surge. "He's a hell of a colt. I think the world of him."

The 11-race finale was conducted amid intermittent rain, leaving the track sloppy after several races had been run. The final six-furlong time for Lunarpal was 1:11.54.

Lunarpal is from the first crop of Successful Appeal and is the first foal out of the Quiet American mare Quiet Eclipse.