05/10/2005 11:00PM

Lincoln track report

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The racing scene in Nebraska shifts to Lincoln on Friday as State Fair Park opens for a 37-day run that will continue through July 17.

The purse structure this year received another boost from the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, through its successful simulcast facility in Omaha. Nearly $475,000 has been added to the purse structure at Lincoln, giving the track a bottom purse of $4,400 for the $2,500 claimers and up to $8,400 for nonwinners-of-four lifetime allowance company.

Defending jockey champion R.D. Williams returns to head the riding colony, which will include several new and returning riders this year. Also back are Dennis Collins, Armando Martinez, Jerry Carkeek, Dan Beck, and Alex Granda, all top 10 riders a year ago.

Roger Gomez, who has ridden primarily in Texas and Oklahoma the past few years, moves his tack back here and is joined by Yuri Yarangam, who also returns following a brief absence. Steve Fatzer is a newcomer to the state and tied for third in the standings with Gomez at the recently completed meet at Blue Ribbon Downs in Oklahoma.

David Anderson returns to defend his training title with a full barn of horses and will be challenged by regulars Herb Riecken, James Compton, Gene DeRoin, and Steve Hall.

Racing is conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis, with several exceptions: There will be no Thursday racing opening weekend, May 26, or June 2; there are special holiday cards offered for Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) and Independence Day (Monday, July 4). The Thursday-through-Sunday schedule will be in effect through June, with Thursday racing not offered June 30 and July 7. Post times are 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.