03/01/2006 12:00AM

Fonner Park track report


Larren Delorme made his presence in the riding colony felt last weekend, firmly planting himself in the top half of the rider standings while scoring what likely will be the only weekend stakes double of the meet. There is only one stakes race scheduled for each weekend at Fonner Park - but cold weather forced the cancellation of live racing on Feb. 18 at the Grand Island, Neb., racetrack, and that day's Grasmick Stakes was subsequently rescheduled for last Sunday.

Delorme guided Nikki Nine to a win in Saturday's Bachman Stakes for trainer Kim Veerhusen, then turned around to guide Fonner veteran Tonight Rainbow to victory in the Grasmick. Tonight Rainbow, a 7-year-old gelding, also won the Grasmick in 2004.

Delorme arrived at Fonner Park as an unknown quantity, but settled in with five winners last weekend and is tied for fourth at six wins with Mike Luark. Curtis Kimes also has six wins, but he has shifted his tack to the newly opened Will Rogers Downs Racetrack and Casino in Claremore, Okla.

* Tonight Rainbow, trained by Boyd Caster for owner Boyd Pugh, has now won nine of his 17 starts over Fonner's five-eighths-mile oval. Named the track's top sprinter in 2003 and 2004, Tonight Rainbow struggled in 2005 with nine starts and just a single win, awarded via disqualification as the result of a postrace purse redistribution. Caster told the Grand Island Independent that Tonight Rainbow battled a low red blood count and was never quite right in his 2005 campaign.

Following a strong three-furlong drill in 36 seconds at Will Rogers Downs on Feb. 23, Caster and his star runner hit the road to Grand Island for Sunday's Grasmick. Tonight Rainbow likely will return to Fonner from Will Rogers Downs for the Budweiser/Tondi Stakes on March 25, a race he won in 2003.