08/25/2010 5:54PM

Lucky Bob wins small track's lone race of the season


Although there was no large crowd on hand to watch, a throwback to days gone by was offered Tuesday afternoon as Horsemen’s Atokad Downs satisfied its legal requirements of holding a Nebraska-bred race, enabling the facility in the northeast corner of the state to continue to operate as a simulcast outlet for another year.

Perhaps 200 patrons turned out for the single-race card, which had a field of five older Nebraska-breds that were nonwinners on the year. The event also brought out a film crew from local ABC affiliate KCAU channel 9 from Sioux City, Iowa, for a look at the event while the reporter, covering her first horse race, posed the possibility of the race being the last run at the track in South Sioux City, Neb. Officials did pose the possibility of running a similar card at Atokad next year, but with multiple races.

Preceded by a night of heavy rain that dumped two inches in the area, the track crew scrambled to work the surface into a suitable condition to run the six-furlong race for $2,500 claimers. After being allowed to waive several racing commission rules the race went off with a walk-up start, no tote board, a single hand-held camera, and no photo-finish camera. Patrol and placing judges were in place to monitor the runners. Wagering on the race was limited to the crowd on hand in the simulcast area inside the building.

With a track rated as heavy, the 10-year-old Lucky Bob and rider Bernie Santos surged past a tiring Justdigit in the stretch to draw off for a six-length win in what will be the only race run on the track this year. The off going resulted in a pedestrian 1:19.40 running time for the six furlongs. The win earned Santos some face time on KCAU’s evening news broadcast and website.

◗ Jordan Olesiak had four wins on last Saturday’s card and maintains a 21-17 lead over apprentice Ashley Dill in the rider standings at Columbus as the meet enters its final three weekends. Dill recorded a riding triple the same night as the pair dominated the nine-race card. Luis Ranilla and Jesus Ponce, next in the standings at 16 and 12 wins, respectively, each recorded triples on Sunday’s eight-race card.