07/15/2009 12:00AM

Anderson makes it eight straight training titles


David Anderson saddled 38 winners to capture his eighth straight trainer title at Lincoln State Fair and his 12th title since 1992.

The 37-day meet concluded Sunday with a second consecutive year of strong increases in attendance. Attendance for the meet fell just short of 90,000, up 6 percent from 2008 and an increase of more than 24 percent since 2007. Mutuel handle ontrack was up 7 percent this year, at $2,134,332, and up 17 percent since 2007.

Total handle for the meet on the Lincoln races, which includes wagering at other outlets in the state and out of state, was nearly dead even with last year, at $3,484,744 compared with $3,511,742 in 2008.

Mike Newlin, director of racing, said the track went after a younger crowd on Fridays, and that helped boost attendance and handle.

"We definitely made it known that on Friday this was the place to be," said Newlin. "We tried to make live racing an interesting and entertaining show to the public. One of the reasons for the increase is that we've tried to do it differently than anyone else has, gearing music to the after-Friday crowd and having giveaways, throwing vouchers and free admission passes from the roof during the year. I love live racing, and if we don't see the next generation coming back, this thing's gonna be done."

Chris Fackler, who shared the riding title at Fonner Park this spring with Jesus Ponce, posted 54 wins to gain his first riding title at Lincoln.