02/20/2002 1:00AM

Fonner Park track report


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Proposals for casino gambling in Nebraska are up for debate in the Nebraska Legislature this week but appear to be facing an uphill battle. A pre-session poll of legislators conducted by The Omaha World-Herald found 33 of 45 lawmakers opposed to an expansion of gambling in the state.

At least three constitutional amendments are currently under consideration. They would allow for casinos on Indian lands located within a two-mile zone of neighboring states that allow casino gambling and for casinos at the state's racetracks.

LR292CA provides for casinos in the "two-mile zone" and slot machines at the state's five existing racetracks. The measures are expected to be combined at some point during the legislature's debate.

* Herb Riecken became the sixth trainer fined for last spring's postrace positives of the drug Clonidine in a ruling handed down Wednesday. Riecken received a $500 fine and a 15-day suspension that ended Feb. 14 and will serve an additional one-year probationary period. His horse, High Dice, was also disqualified from second-place purse money in the Ogataul Handicap on March 17, 2001 .

* Portland Meadows newcomers have proven competitive through the first two weekends of the meet here. The early close of Portland Meadows was expected to bring 50-100 horses to Nebraska this spring. So far, 20 different horses that last raced at the Oregon track have made starts, They have a record of 2-4-3 from 22 starts. Cliff Balcom's T J Casey was a $39.80 winner in last Sunday's feature with fellow Portland import Skiing Lamb finishing second for trainer A. L. Homer.