05/05/2004 12:00AM

Fonner Park track report


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Although Curtis Kimes is likely to fall short of catching Perry Compton, he has made it a race for the riding title at Fonner Park. Kimes comes into the final two days of racing trailing Compton, 76-67, the closest race for leading rider in several years.

Kimes added his name to the record books in another category last Friday when he rode six winners on the 10-race card. Kimes joined Chad Anderson, Compton, Greg Schaefer, Ken Shino, and Jerry Carkeek on a short list of riders to accomplish the feat here. Only Compton and Shino have done better, with Shino riding eight winners on a card in 2000 and Compton seven the same year.

Compton is on the verge of claiming his ninth title at Fonner, which will equal the record held by R.D. Williams.

* Last Saturday brought together four past riding champions here as Greg Schaefer has moved his tack back to Nebraska. After his first win of the meet, Schaefer was joined in the winner's circle by previous two-time riding champ Alonzo Guajardo, plus Compton and Williams, for a group picture. Officials believe this was the first time that four previous champions competed at the same meet.

* Trainer Marv Johnson still needs three wins to top the trainer standings as the season nears its end. Johnson has been slowly reeling in suspended trainer David Anderson and trails by a 31-28 margin. Johnson has won six previous training titles here.

* The season ends Saturday with the $25,000 Nebraska Derby at one mile and the $10,000-added Coors Starter Allowance Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. The Coors is traditionally the final race on the card and is the longest distance run at the meet.

* Horsemen's Atokad Downs has received permission to conduct an extra day of racing this year and will present a three-day weekend to finish off the state's live Thoroughbred season in September. The track expects to card six races per day with approximate purses of $12,500 per race. The dates for Horsemen's Atokad Downs will be Sept. 17-19.