07/11/2012 3:20PM

Horsemen's Park expends its number of races

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Live racing makes its return to Omaha’s Horsemen’s Park with an expanded schedule that spans two weekends while keeping its “Summer Racing Festival” theme.

There will be six races offered each day over a total of six days of racing, doubling the number of races offered in past years. The expansion comes with a few different classes of races being offered, including the first maiden races at Horsemen’s Park. The conditions are still mostly written to cater to Nebraska horsemen with nearly all the races requiring horses to have started at either Fonner Park or Lincoln Race Course this year to qualify.

The wagering format also underwent a makeover and will be highlighted by a $1 pick six along with a rolling 50-cent pick three on the first four races and a 50-cent pick four on the final four races daily.

The festival atmosphere will remain the same with food and beverage tents, a live band playing each day, and giveaways that include four trips to South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Highlighting the opening day festivities will be a much anticipated rematch of Bach’s Homebrew and Reach One More in the $27,500 Who Doctor Who Handicap for older Nebraska-breds going one mile. Bach’s Homebrew won this race last year while Reach One More is the 2010 winner. The pair have developed quite a rivalry in the past two years with Bach’s Homebrew winning both of their meetings this year.

In one of the very few handicap stakes offered in the state, Bach’s Homebrew will tote top weight of 125 pounds while Reach One More was assigned 122. Bach’s Homebrew is unbeaten in his two previous Omaha starts. He won the Skunktail Stakes locally in 2010 as a 3-year-old. This year, he has won the Ogataul Stakes at Fonner Park and the Big Red Mile in Lincoln but comes off a rare loss when second to top sprinter Song of Humor in the President’s Cup going six furlongs at Lincoln on June 9. Regular rider Chris Fackler has the mount for trainer Larry Staroscik.

Reach One More owns the distinction of carrying the highest weight to victory at Horsemen’s Park when he toted 128 while winning the 2010 edition of this race. He returned to the top of his game last out when he cruised home by more than six lengths in the HBPA Stakes going a mile and 70 yards at Lincoln on July 4, just missing the track record. Trainer Chuck Turco has the grey Reach One More going strongly and will have Jake Olesiak aboard.