07/08/2002 11:00PM

Yoto Speakes right back without McCarron


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Yoto Speakes, who carried Chris McCarron to victory in National Thoroughbred Racing Association All-Star Jockey Championship last month while winning the final leg of the competition, returns in the seventh race Thursday night at Lone Star Park.

The five-furlong turf race is a $15,000 starter allowance that drew 10 runners.

Yoto Speakes is the one to beat on the heels of his win in the Jockey Championship.

"The horse is doing fantastic," said Troy Young, who trains the 8-year-old Yoto Speakes. "He's like fine wine. He's gotten better with age."

Ron Ardoin will ride Yoto Speakes.

Also on the card, Ski Bum goes for his third win of the Lone Star meet in the eighth, an optional claimer at six furlongs. In his last start, Ski Bum was third to Halo Cat in the $50,000 Kings Court at Louisiana Downs.

Fillies point for Dixie Miss

Highhopesemilyluck and Distinctive Code, 3-year-old fillies who added to win streaks with dominant victories last week at Louisiana Downs, could meet for the first time Aug. 10 in the $40,000 Dixie Miss.

Highhopesemilyluck is headed to the Dixie Miss after winning her fourth straight start Saturday in the $42,800 Fantasia Stakes. She covered the six-furlong race for statebred fillies in 1:10.48. The Dixie Miss, for open company, also is at six furlongs.

Highhopesemilyluck beat open foes one start before the Fantasia, in the $30,000 Tellike at Evangeline Downs. Overall, she is 4 for 5 in her career, her lone defeat coming when she ran second in her debut in March.

"She's really matured since then," said Samuel Breaux, who trains Highhopesemilyluck. "She's found her rhythm, and now she's on a roll. We're high on her."

Breaux, tied for second in the Louisiana Downs standings, said later in the meet he plans to send Highhopesemilyluck two turns in the $60,000 Louisiana Breeders' Oaks over 1 1/16 miles Oct. 20.

Distinctive Code won her third straight race Friday, a six-furlong allowance, by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:10.80. An imposing filly who stands about 17 hands tall, Distinctive Code could go next in the Dixie Miss, but is also a candidate for the $50,000 Chapel Belle Stakes over a 1 1/16 miles on turf July 27.

Distinctive Code is one of four promising 3-year-old fillies trained by Larry Robideaux, and on Tuesday morning he was trying to figure out how to separate his charges.

"It's a real nice problem to have," he said.

His other top 3-year-old fillies are Cozy Susie, second in the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn; Mystery Squall, a multiple winner pointing for the Chapel Belle; and French Riviera, who is possible for the Dixie Miss.

Robideaux said Nanie's Dinner, his top older mare, is pointing for the $40,000 Delicada on July 21.

San Antonio area floods spare Retama

The close to 30 inches of rain that flooded the San Antonio area last week did not affect operations at Retama Park, which is between meets. The track does have horses on the grounds, but they have been able to continue to train, according to Larry Craft, director of racing for Retama.

"There have been no problems," said Craft. "The track sits on fairly high ground."

Retama opens for a Thoroughbred meet Aug. 2. Daily purses will average just over $100,000.

* Lone Star has named former French riding champ Cash Asmussen its international spokesman. Asmussen, brother of Lone Star leading trainer Steve Asmussen, will assist the track in foreign relations relative to the Breeders' Cup. Lone Star is a conditional host for the championship series in either 2004 or 2005.

* Sam Houston Race Park drew a record crowd of 24,124 last Thursday night for its annual fireworks show. The track's previous best attendance was 23,648 on July 4, 2001.

* Starofmynight goes for his fourth straight win in Thursday's fourth at Louisiana Downs, a one-mile turf allowance worth $25,000. Earlier this year, Starofmynight won a conditioned claimer by 18 lengths at Delta Downs.