09/05/2006 11:00PM

Columbus track report


Nebraska-bred 2-year-olds close out the stakes season for Nebraska on Friday at Columbus, with a pair of $15,000-added stakes at six furlongs, the Columbus Debutante and Columbus Futurity, taking an early spotlight on closing weekend.

Five fillies entered for the Debutante, including Shade On, who comes back off her solid maiden score here on Aug. 27. Shade On, trained by Bob Bowman for owner Tondi Reinhart, is the only winner in the compact field, as she ran away from her rivals to win by 8 3/4 lengths. She was allowed to slip under the radar at 9-1 that day but looks like an odds-on favorite for Friday's race.

A field of six colts and geldings will match up in the Futurity, which will also become the state's richest maiden race of the season - no winners are present in the field. Favorite Rookie and I Talk Alot are the likely top choices off good showings in their maiden races, while three other entrants will be making their debuts.

Favorite Rookie, trained by Ron Westermann for owner Brian Becker, set the pace but weakened late to finish third against Plaer's Trump in the Club House Special at Columbus on Aug. 26. Plaer's Trump has been the strongest-looking of the 2-year-olds to appear this year, and Favorite Rookie's good showing should point him as the Futurity favorite.

I Talk Alot, trained by Erin McCord, was runner-up to Completely Chrome in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden race here on Aug. 13 in his career debut and will have R.D. Williams aboard as he stretches out to six furlongs.

* Williams posted a five-win night here last Friday and moved back into the thick of the jockey race. Dennis Collins holds a 39-35 edge over Williams entering the final three days of racing while Jerry Carkeek and Yuri Yaranga are tied at 30 wins each. David Anderson has wrapped up his fifth straight training title here, bringing a 27-13 lead over David Grimes into closing weekend.

* Sunday's Fan Appreciation Day and closing-day festivities will include several giveaways that fans have registered for throughout the season. The prizes up for grabs include a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe LS, a Honda Rancher all-terrain vehicle, two 52-inch televisions, and a stainless steel Kenmore grill.

* Horsemen's Atokad Downs closes out the Thoroughbred season in the state next weekend. Entries will be taken on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at Columbus for the three-day festival meet.