01/01/2005 1:00AM

More Moonlight gives Asmussen four


Odds-on More Moonlight blasted three overmatched rivals at Fair Grounds in Saturday's $50,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Donnie Meche connected on their fourth winner on the card with More Moonlight, the first time a trainer has won four races on at card at Fair Grounds in a decade. Tom Amoss was the last to win four, on Jan. 19, 1995. Asmussen also won with Diamonds for Dixie in the fourth race, Road Ruler in the sixth, and Skip Irish in the seventh.

Formerly known as the Thelma, the Letellier had only four starters after Asmussen scratched Coronado Rose.

Robby Albarado sent Hot Storm right to the lead from her rail post, with Meche keeping More Moonlight just outside of her down the backstretch through fractions of 21.42 seconds and 44.68. Galactic Cat tracked the two leaders in third.

"I just let her find a comfortable stride," said Meche. "Then around the middle of the turn I kind of picked up her head and she took over. At the head of the lane she opened up like she was supposed to. She could have given me more."

More Moonlight lengthened her lead through the stretch, running the six furlongs in 1:10.81 to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Hot Storm, with Steal the Show another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and Galactic Cat finishing last.

The four winners vaulted Donnie Meche into a tie for third place in the Fair Grounds jockey standings with 16 victories.

More Moonlight returned $3.20. There was no show wagering.