03/05/2003 12:00AM

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Jockey Nena Matz made a winning return to the races in Tuesday's seventh race at Sunland Park, winning with her first mount back after being sidelined since Dec. 21, when her pelvis was broken in a training-hours accident. Matz rode Silent Sam ($19.20), trained by her husband, Zachary Armstrong. . . . Nebraska's unicameral legislature voted Wednesday by a 25-17 margin to advance a casino bill to second-round debate. The bill, which will need 30 votes in that hearing to be placed on the 2004 ballot, would allow slot machines at up to eight locations in the state, possibly including the state's five racetracks. . . . Stall applications are due for the 52-day Prairie Meadows Thoroughbred meeting, which begins April 18 and runs through June 28 at the Altoona, Iowa facility, which also houses 1,500 slot machines. . . . An $88 winner gave Linda Johnson of Palm Harbor, Fla., first place in Saturday's preliminary round of a qualifying contest at Tampa Bay Downs for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Challenge. The top 10 finishers in Saturday's contest go on to the March 15 finals. . . . Turfway Park will give Steve Cauthen bobblehead dolls to the first 7,000 fans through the turnstiles on Lane's End Stakes Day, March 22. The bobbleheads commemorate the 25th anniversary of Cauthen's Triple Crown sweep aboard Affirmed and will feature the flamingo and black silks of Harbor View Farm. . . . Harold Peerenboom, a Thoroughbred owner and breeder since the early 1980's, has been appointed to the Ontario Racing Commission for a three-year term.