05/20/2004 12:00AM

Lincoln: 'Rainbow' seeks repeat


LINCOLN, Neb. - Tonight Rainbow should be a heavy favorite in a field of nine in the $10,000 Speed Handicap at the Lincoln State Fair.

Tonight Rainbow comes into the 4 1/2-furlong race off a strong third in the $100,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes at Fonner Park on April 24. He earned sprinter and older horse of the year honors at Fonner off his win in the half-mile Grasmick Handicap and returns to attempt to win the Speed for the second straight year.

R.D. Williams has been named to ride Tonight Rainbow under top weight of 123 pounds from post 7.

Tonight Rainbow will have plenty of company up front early. The speedsters Jack Black and Ice and Shuttle Sam ship in from Iowa, while Herewegoagain returns off a win at Fort Pierre in South Dakota.

Classy Sheikh, another newcomer to Nebraska, comes in after making two starts at Turf Paradise and should make his present felt in the early going. The five-sixteenths of a mile run from the gate to the turn should produce a cavalry charge.

Jack Black and Ice contested the pace in the 5 1/2-furlong Prairie Express at Prairie Meadows on May 1. He has drawn post 2 with Dan Beck to ride at 118 pounds. Shuttle Sam breaks from post 5 with Dennis Collins aboard at 112 pounds while Herewegoagain is outside with Newil Wall under 120 pounds.

Sir Morgan, breaking from post 6 with Alex Granda aboard, would appear the only one likely to be able to lay off the pace and pick up the pieces should all the early speed falter through the short stretch here.