08/15/2002 12:00AM

Columbus: Record-breaking race


COLUMBUS, Neb. - High Dice will tote high weight of 123 pounds when he heads a field of nine, including an entry, in Saturday's $20,000 Amadevil Handicap, believed to be the richest race ever run at Columbus.

The Amadevil's venue was switched from Lincoln to Columbus this year and is one of the races that have replaced the Nebraska Breeders' Sweepstakes program. The NBS program has phased out its restricted races and concluded its existence two weeks ago with the Sophomore and Sophomore Fillies. The $20,000 purse for the Amadevil includes $10,000 from the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders Development Fund and another $5,000 from the Horsemen's Park development fund.

High Dice has reeled off two strong wins in the Who Doctor Who Handicap at Lincoln and the Nebraskaland Handicap at Horsemen's Park and now turns back to six furlongs for Saturday night's race. He looms the one to beat with Dennis Collins aboard for trainer Herb Riecken.

Ty Man, coupled with Tauke in the wagering for trainer Marv Johnson, has been idle since his neck victory in the President's Cup Handicap on June 9 at Lincoln. That victory was his first of the year but he has posted a 1:01.60 breeze going five furlongs here since and is another who could be sitting in the right spot just off a strong early pace.

Harvey Bengal, the pacesetter in the Nebraskaland Handicap, weakened to third that day after finding himself in tight quarters near the eighth pole. Greg Schaefer will come in Prairie Meadows to pick up the ride.

Yank's Rapture returns to the races off a long layoff. Trained by John Walters, Yank's Rapture has a pair of five-furlong breezes under his belt but will find this a tough spot for his return to the statebred handicap ranks. Kevin Murray has the ride.