01/06/2006 12:00AM

Norman returns to track for works


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Cole Norman was out and about at Louisiana Downs on Friday morning for the first time since fracturing his neck in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Dec. 19. He could start as many as four sprinters in the $250,000 Duncan F. Kenner Breeders' Cup on Saturday, one of four stakes that will make up the "Road To The Derby" Kickoff Day at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs.

The fields for the Grade 3, $250,000 Risen Star for 3-year-olds and the Grade 3, $250,000 Silverbulletday for 3-year-old fillies were just starting to take shape on Friday morning, while the Kenner is luring a strong group of sprinters that will include the comebacking Grade 2 winner Beau's Town. The other stakes Saturday is the Grade 3, $250,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup, which is expected to be the North American debut of the Group 1-placed Mirabilis for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Norman had 27 horses work on Friday. It was the first time he has trained from his customary spot in the paddock since the accident. Norman said on a few other occasions his wife, Tamara, had driven him to the track and he watched his horses from the car.

"I went to the doctor on Monday, and he said I could drive this weekend," said Norman. "I made it a day earlier."

Norman, who must wear a neck brace for three months after undergoing surgery to align fractured vertebrae in his neck, lives seven miles from Louisiana Downs. In addition to pointing Beau's Town for the Kenner, Norman said Top Commander would be supplemented to the race. Norman said he is also considering starting That Tat and Grand Bank.

Beau's Town has not raced since finishing third in the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds in November 2004. He has undergone surgery to have a small bone chip removed from his ankle and shows a series of strong works at Louisiana Downs, including six furlongs in 1:12 on Dec. 10. Among those he is expected to face in the Kenner are Dreamsandvisions, Orphan Brigade, Rodeo's Castle, and Stolen Time.

"It will be a tough task being off that long, but we've got a lot of miles in him," said Norman, who trains Beau's Town for Dave Hulkewicz. "We've taken our time with him. He's doing good."

Norman said Calvin Borel will likely be aboard Beau's Town.

Rodeo's Castle, a multiple stakes winner who finished second in the Thanksgiving Handicap in November in his first start since August, will be among the favorites for the Kenner.

"He came off his vacation in really good form, and he's just stayed very consistent," said Beverly Fowler, who trains Rodeo's Castle. "He's training exceptionally well."

Elusive Jazz has chip removed

Elusive Jazz, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 110 for his win in the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup in October, would have been a strong favorite for the Kenner for trainer Bobby Barnett. But Elusive Jazz, who finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, recently had a bone chip removed from an ankle. He is scheduled to resume training in May.

"He'll be back strong," said Barnett. "He is doing very well."

Elusive Jazz is recuperating at Stony Oak Farm in Kentucky. Following the Fair Grounds meet, Barnett will race at Oaklawn, where he will have a full barn for the first time since the late 1990's.

French Park to Silverbulletday?

The undefeated French Park is among the fillies under consideration for the Silverbulletday, a 1 1/16-mile race. In her last start, she won the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs for trainer Helen Pitts.

Among those probable for the Silverbulletday are Capozzene and Hoochie Glide, according to Fair Grounds stakes coordinator David Heitzmann. Capozzene was a stakes winner at Monmouth in August for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Another Pletcher horse, Saint Augustus, is among the probables for the Risen Star. Others that Heitzmann considers probable are Desert Wheat, Hyte Regency, Malameeze, Mark of Success, Midway Man, and Red Bordeaux.

Hyte Regency, a stakes winner who finished third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his last start, worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Jan. 4.

"We might give him another easy [work] next Wednesday, just an easy half," said Jeff Trosclair, who trains Hyte Regency. "He's doing very well."

Corey Lanerie will ride Hyte Regency in the Risen Star. Trainer Steve Asmussen said Roman Chapa will likely ride Midway Man.

* Trainer Tom Amoss won two races through the seventh on Friday, giving him nine wins from his last 18 starters at Fair Grounds.