07/19/2005 11:00PM

'Blumin' big chalk in feature


OMAHA, Neb. - Up 'n Blumin, a three-time stakes winner this year, should rule the heavy favorite in Friday's $27,500-added Falls Amiss Handicap for Nebraska-bred fillies and mares at Horsemen's Park. A one-mile race, the Fall Amiss Handicap will have a field of six and is part of Horsemen's Park's four-day Festival of Racing.

Up 'n Blumin will be going for her fifth win of the year. Kelly Von Hemel claimed Up 'n Blumin for $40,000 at Prairie Meadows in May following the Fonner Park meet, where she won both the Orphan Kist and Al Swihart Memorial handicaps.

In her most recent win, Up 'n Blumin wired the field in the Matchmaker Handicap at Lincoln. R.D. Williams has the mount from post 6 at top weight of 123 pounds.

Owned and operated by the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, Horsemen's Park opened in 1998 and brought live racing back to Omaha after Ak-Sar-Ben was closed following its 1995 season. Horsemen's Park is primarily a simulcast facility and conducts the four-day festival meet to satisfy state law, which requires racetracks to hold a minimum of two races each year in order to offer year-round simulcasting.

The simulcast facility has pumped millions of dollars into the racing industry in Nebraska. This year alone, the money bet at Horsemen's Park will boost purses at Fonner Park, State Fair Park, and Columbus's Ag Park by more than $1 million. The HBPA also owns and operates Horsemen's Atokad Park in South Sioux City, Neb. Atokad will hold a three-day meet in September.

The Horsemen's Park meet offers a minimum purse of $25,000, providing horsemen with a shot at a big payday for horses running in claiming races ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. The races are restricted to horses that have raced in the state. There is one Nebraska-bred stakes offered each day, and the meet is anchored by the $40,000 Queens Handicap and the $100,000 Omaha Stakes, both open to all comers.

* On Friday and Saturday, fans will have photo opportunites with the Beulah Park Twins, Jenna and Katie. For $5, patrons can have their picture taken with the twins, with the proceeds going to Children's Cancer Research in the Omaha area.