02/21/2007 12:00AM

Fonner Park: King's Verse takes honor


The top breeders and Nebraska-bred performers of 2006 were recognized last Saturday night at the Midtown Holiday Inn in Grand Island, Neb., as the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders' Association held its annual awards banquet.

Older horse of the year honors went to King's Verse, a winner of $35,480 campaigning in Minnesota and Illinois for breeder Bluestem Farm, which owns the horse in partnership with Mac Robertson. He won 3 of 10 starts last year.

Up 'n Blumin was the older mare of the year for breeder Robert D. Kirby and owner Richard Galyen. Up 'n Blumin enjoyed a five-win season that included victories in the Orphan Kist and Al Swihart stakes at Fonner, the Bluegrass and Matchmaker stakes at Lincoln, and the Falls Amiss Handicap at Horsemen's Park. She earned $74,735.

Lustabit Shawklit - bred, owned, and trained by Herb Riecken - was the 3-year-old of the year with a 4-4-0 mark from 8 starts and earnings of $53,049. His stakes wins included the State Fair Derby at Lincoln and the Skunktail Stakes at Horsemen's Park.

Lovesablumin, a homebred for trainer Terrell Hemmer, was the 3-year-old filly of the year with 4 wins from 6 starts and earnings of $45,378. She captured the Fonner Park Special Stakes and the Breeders' Special at Lincoln.

Two-year-old of the year was awarded to Bumper Bob, bred by Bob Bowman and trained by Bob Rising. His lone win last year came in the Capital City Futurity at Lincoln, his maiden victory. Shade One was the 2-year-old filly of the year for breeder Ed Rotherham and owner Tondi Reinhart.

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders award and the Blood-Horse Julep Cup were both presented to the leading breeder, Riecken. The Thoroughbred Times award went to Blumin Affair as the state's leading sire of 3-year-olds. Lisa Moss, wife of trainer Joe Moss, was presented the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders' Association member of the year award for hours volunteering in the breeders' office.

* "Race Day Weekly," a live broadcast of the Fonner Park races each Saturday on KRGI-AM, entered its third year with the start of the season. Hosted by Jason Dannely, the show is broadcast live from the press box and covers the Saturday cards from start to finish with predictions, analysis, and insight into the local racing activity, plus plenty of discussion of the weekend's major races from across the country.

With track announcer Steve Anderson alongside for much of the day, listeners receive the live calls of each race and results plus guests stopping in through the day.