09/03/2003 12:00AM

Columbus: Big day for Martinez


COLUMBUS, Neb. - Armando Martinez's feat of riding six winners on Friday's nine-race card seemed to fuel a flurry of streaks over the Labor Day weekend as this meet winds down to its Sept. 14 closing.

Martinez kick-started the meet for trainer Sean Foley by booting home both ends of the early double ($8.80) aboard Foley trainees. Foley sent out Love Jet ($4) in the first and Raniata ($5.20) in the second to collect his first wins of the meet.

Dennis Collins picked up a lucrative late double sweep on Saturday with wins aboard Sundayblummer ($5.60) in the $10,350 Columbus Breeders' Special and Aly Aly Oxen Free ($5.80) in the Michelob Light Starter Allowance at 1 3/8 miles. The double paid $18.80.

Luis Ranilla won both halves of the early double on Sunday aboard Father Dan ($7) and Gary's Speedy Miss ($3.60) for a $14.20 return.

Spar, a 10-year-old gelding trained by Chuck Wiley, collected his second straight win at the meet in Sunday's fourth race when he uncharacteristically rallied from off the pace for a $10.20 win. The consistent gray moved his career mark to 17-16-18 from 104 starts. He has earned $137,769.

Statebreds won 7 of the 9 races on Sunday's card, a high mark of the season for the Nebraska-bred program.

Ranilla, locked in a tight battle for leading rider honors at the meet with Martinez, swept the final three races of the day. Ranilla was aboard Hawaiian Symphony ($6.40) in the seventh, Doug's Shadow ($22.80) in the $9,380 Labor Day Handicap, and capped off his weekend aboard Lake Hamilton ($10.60).

With six days of racing remaining, Martinez owns a 32-31 edge over Ranilla. Collins has 28 wins.

David Anderson moved to a 12-9 edge over Paul Linafelter in the trainer standings with a three-win day Sunday. Anderson won the training titles at Fonner Park and Lincoln State Fair and finished tied for top trainer at the four-day Horsemen's Park meet.