07/11/2007 11:00PM

Two favorites from a usual suspect


BOSSIER CITY, La. - It seems Steve Asmussen is everywhere these days, especially in the 2-year-old ranks. From last weekend's sweep of the Debutante and Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs to the four youngsters that he qualified for the finals of the two divisions of the lucrative D. S. "Shine" Young Futurity at Evangeline Downs the Saturday before, the barn has solidified its already dominant role in the juvenile division.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Asmussen is shipping in the morning-line favorites for the Princess and Minstrel Stakes on Saturday at Louisiana Downs. Both five-furlong turf affairs carry a $50,000 purse.

Asmussen's representative in the Princess is American Prize. A Pure Prize filly, she invades from Chicago, where she won her maiden at first asking over the synthetic surface in professional fashion, winning the 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race by 1o1/2 lengths. She has been training steadily and looks well deserving of her 5-2 morning-line price. Luis Quinonez will be in the saddle.

Gone Dixie is the only member of the seven-member cast of the Princess to have a win on turf. Trained by Morris Nicks, she won her debut from just off the pace here on May 25, defeating fellow Princess entrant and recent maiden winner My Girl Bess by almost two lengths. Nicks has given the return call on Gone Dixie to Donnie Meche.

Also in the Princess is Top Story, an impressive winner over a sloppy strip in her only start. Her familiarity with an off track could come into play Saturday if the recent rains persist.

Shedoesrock comes off a third-place finisher in the finals of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Futurity at Lone Star Park.

The Asmussen-trained Galiano, at 5-2 on the morning line, heads up the field in the Minstrel Stakes. A son of Vindication, Galiano ran to his 7-5 price in his maiden special weight debut at Lone Star on June 10. Quinonez will ride Galiano.

Trainer Ronny Werner will send out the likely second choice in the Minstrel in the form of Preachin Man, a son of Songandaprayer. A winner in mid-April at Keeneland, the colt finished fifth in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup during Kentucky Derby week. Werner will be adding blinkers to Preachin Man's equipment on Saturday and has given the call to Meche.

Hallowed Dreams: True Tails speediest

Also on Saturday's program is the $125,000 Hallowed Dreams Stakes at six furlongs.

Named for the legendary Louisiana-bred racemare who once strung together 16 consecutive wins, the Hallowed Dreams brings together, appropriately enough, some of the region's finest filly and mare sprinters.

While there is no shortage of speed in the Hallowed Dreams, the quickest of the quick appears to be True Tails. Trained by Jorge Lara, she most recently finished fourth in the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes at Lone Star. She has 3 victories from 4 starts at Louisiana Downs.

Regular rider Carlos Gonzalez will once again be aboard.