06/23/2009 11:00PM

Lincoln holds fundraiser for injured jockey


This Sunday has been designated Mike Luark Day at the Lincoln State Fair with a fundraiser and silent auction to help the 20-year-old rider injured in a spill here May 24.

Luark suffered six broken vertebrae in the accident and underwent a 4 1/2-hour surgery the following day to place two rods and several screws to stabilize the injury. He is likely to miss a year of racing. The fundraiser will go to aid the rider and his young family - his wife, Jess, and 6-month-old daughter, Holly.

Director of racing Mike Newlin, the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Agency, the jockey colony, and others have been at work gathering items for a silent auction to be held during the day. Among the items to be auctioned will be old jockey silks, saddlecloths, and other memorabilia.

* Post time for the July 3 card has been moved to an afternoon start of 2 p.m. to avoid racing during the nearby fireworks display at Oak Lake Park that evening.

* The races for leading jockey and trainer have been head and head for some time now, and both are separated by a single win as Lincoln enters its final three weekends of racing.

Chris Fackler and Luis Ranilla have been alternating on the lead in the rider standings, with Fackler holding a 37-36 edge through last Sunday's racing. Jesus Ponce is third with 31 wins after sharing the title at Fonner Park with Fackler.

In the trainer standings, Marv Johnson holds a 21-20 edge over David Anderson as they have put some distance on the rest of the field. Four other trainers are tied at 10 wins each, including Herb Riecken, who saddled three winners on Sunday's card.