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Nebraska's Lincoln Race Course opens with more gates than jockeys


May 12, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

When Lincoln Race Course opens for its 32-day season on Friday, only nine jockeys will be available for the racetrack's 10-post starting gate. Regular riders from past years have opted to stay in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, leaving trainers and horse owners scrambling for reinsmen.

Lincoln's 2010 leading jockey, Jordan Olesiak, returns, along with younger brother Jake. Jake won the riding title title at Fonner Park this spring,

Trainers can choose experience or the quickness of youth when deciding to book either part of the father-son duo of Luis and Jose Ranilla. Armando Martinez, Chris Fackler, Ashley Dill, and Karlo Lopez are also on the roster. Mike Luark will ride this weekend and then take off for Minnesota’s Canterbury Park.

This is the next-to-last year that racing will take place at Lincoln Race Course. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln now owns the property the track sits on, which was the home of the Nebraska State Fair. The fair moved to Grand Island last year, but the university has allowed the horsemen to retain use of the track through 2012.

After the 2012 season, the track will be torn down to make way for the University's Innovation and Technology Campus.