09/21/2003 11:00PM

Warleigh wins Louisiana Downs Handicap

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Bossier City, La. - Warleigh, claimed by owner-trainer Steve Asmussen for $100,000 in his most recent start at Saratoga, paid immediate dividends on Sunday by winning the $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap. One Eyed Joker finished a distant second followed by Chauffe Au Rouge. Pay the Preacher was a late scratch.

Breaking well under Lonnie Meche, Warleigh ($4.20) took control soon after and cleared through an opening quarter in :24.02 over a course made soggy by a steady rain. Maintaining a daylight advantage through a half in :48.28 and six furlongs in 1:12.56, Warleigh had plenty left in the drive and increased his lead to over eight lengths at the finish. The final time for the mile and a sixteenth was 1:44.22 over the yielding turf.

Warleigh won for the seventh time in 17 career starts and now sports a four race win streak. Sunday's winner's share of $60,000 increased his career earnings to over $277,000.