07/19/2002 11:00PM

Hot fun at Horsemen's for overflow crowd

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OMAHA, Neb. - Temperatures nearing 100 degrees couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for Horsemen's Park's three-day summer festival as an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 fans turned out Friday for opening night's four-race card.

Hot weather and large crowds have been the norm since Horse-men's Park's inaugural meeting in 1998, and on Friday the main simulcasting facility, which comfortably seats 3,000 fans, was standing-room only before Friday's first race at 6 p.m. Central.

The large crowd went to the windows with enthusiasm. Ontrack wagering for the card totaled $152,741, up 25 percent from the same day a year ago. Overall, the facility handled more than $500,000 on live and simulcast racing, one of the largest Fridays in track history.

Jockey Kevin Murray picked up the first win of his comeback on heavily favored Oglala Sue in the $29,500 Huskerette Purse. Oglala Sue overcame traffic problems and coming out over a rival's heels into the second turn of the one-mile feature to win by 5 3/4 lengths. Murray began his comeback the final weekend of Lincoln's State Fair Park meet after spending the past several months as an assistant trainer in California.