06/16/2002 11:00PM

Norman and Asmussen towering above fellow trainers


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainers Cole Norman and Steve Asmussen continue to be in a race of their own atop the standings at Lone Star Park.

The pair won three races each last Sunday to account for six of the 10 races on the card, and overall this meet have combined to win 106 of the 487 races run, as well as $2.2 million in purses. The 70-day meet continues through July 14.

Norman leads the current standings after winning more races at the meet than there have been race days: 57 wins in 50 days. During that same period of time, Asmussen has won 49 local races, and last Sunday registered his 300th win at Lone Star in the fifth with impressive 2-year-old Slam Bam.

To put their dominance in further perspective, consider that Bret Calhoun, the third-leading trainer at the meet, has won 18 races, and that Corey Lanerie, who leads the jockey standings, has won 50. As a rule, the leading jockey at a meet wins more races than the leading trainer.

Norman, it seems, is in a good position to add to his win total Wednesday night with That Tat, who faces $75,000 Southwest Stakes winner Paloma Parilla in the eighth, a six-furlong conditioned allowance worth $32,000.

McCarron-McCaffery silks at auction

The silks jockey Chris McCarron will wear Sunday when he rides Came Home in the Grade 3, $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park will be auctioned at Lone Star on Friday during a fund-raising lunch held in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association All-Star Jockey Championship.

The Affirmed is expected to be the final stakes engagement for McCarron, who will retire Sunday. Before he does, McCarron will ride in the four-race Jockey Championship at Lone Star on Friday night, and also plans to play in a Dallas golf tournament tied to the event Thursday.

"Came Home is such a significant horse, I think the silks will be an interesting auction item," said McCarron.

McCarron, who asked Came Home's co-owner, Trudy McCaffery, for permission to donate the silks, has ridden the colt in all eight of his career starts. Came Home has won six of those races, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and the Grade 1 Hopeful.

"Aside from being a raw talent, Came Home is a real sweetheart," said McCarron. "He's kind around the barn, and is just a real meaningful horse."

This year, Came Home gave McCarron his final Kentucky Derby ride, carrying him to a sixth-place finish behind War Emblem. McCarron has won the Kentucky Derby twice during his illustrious career, in 1987 with Alysheba, and in 1994 with Go for Gin.

Asheville joins Miller Lite cast

Asheville is the latest horse to join a strong field of fillies and mares being assembled for the $75,000 Miller Lite Stakes at Lone Star on Saturday.

Others expected include defending champ Hallowed Dreams; Southern Tour, winner of the $100,000 Carousel Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park; and Leslie's Love and Darlin' Dixie, the one-two finishers in an allowance prep for the Miler Lite on June 1.

Asheville, a multiple allowance winner trained by Asmussen, cuts back to five furlongs on turf for the Miller Lite. The race will be her stakes debut.

Asheville has had one turf sprint race in her career, and she finished second to turf sprint stakes winner Repository.

Pine for Me, a multiple allowance winner who is stakes-placed, is possible for the Miller Lite, said trainer Mike Mareina, as is $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes winner Prized Amberpro, who is trained by Scott Gelner.

* Lanerie is one of several local riders set to travel to Dallas on Wednesday and visit the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.