05/20/2001 11:00PM

Lone Star will stay neutral in bids for Laredo license


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Lone Star, which has been advising Keith and Marilyn Asmussen on their plans to convert their El Primero Training Center in Laredo, Texas, into a Class 2 track, has bowed out of the project for now so as not to compete with another Texas track looking to move into that market, said Lone Star president Corey Johnsen.

Retama Park near San Antonio is in negotiations with county officials in Laredo about resurrecting and managing an old fair track in Laredo, L.I.F.E. Downs.

"At this time we will not be involved in contesting the Retama group for a license in Laredo," said Johnsen. "We have an excellent relationship with the whole Asmussen family. We [just] made a decision that we would not contest that situation. We want to be good neighbors with Retama."

The Asmussens will continue to pursue a parimutuel license. The family plans to ask the Texas Racing Commission to begin the application process, which includes background investigations, in June.

Baze to ride Dianehill on Million Day

Tyler Baze, who won an Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice jockey last year, will travel to Lone Star Park next week to ride Dianehill in the $200,000 WinStar Distaff. The race is one of seven stakes on the track's annual Lone Star Million Day card, to be run May 28.

Dianehill finished second to Tranquility Lake in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap at Hollywood Park in her last start, which came April 29. She will be a sentimental favorite in the WinStar as her owner, Ben Rochelle, died May 10 at age 91. Rochelle raced 1986 Preakness Stakes winner Snow Chief.

Dixie Dot Com readies for Million Day

Dixie Dot Com, who won last month's Grade 3 Texas Mile, breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80 Thursday in preparation for the Grade 3 $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 28.

The race is also expected to draw Elite Mercedes, who has not raced since finishing fourth in last year's Arkansas Derby. Trained by Elliott Walden, he worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.20 seconds last Wednesday at Churchill Downs.

* Jurist makes her turf debut in the featured ninth race Sunday at Lone Star, a 1 1/16-mile allowance for fillies who have never won three races. Jurist is trained by Al Stall Jr., who has won four turf races from seven starters on the surface this meet at Lone Star.

* An autopsy of Sweet Asset, who collapsed and died in the winner's circle after capturing Lone Star's first race Thursday night, gave no conclusions to her cause of death. Sweet Asset ($12.20) was a nose winner of a maiden claiming race.