11/07/2008 1:00AM

Nebraska awards 2009 race dates


The 2009 racing season in Nebraska will stretch two weeks longer into September while maintaining the same number of live racing days offered in 2008. The 104 days of live racing were approved Thursday at a meeting of the Nebraska State Racing Commission.

Lincoln Downs, the proposed one-mile track to be built in northeast Lincoln, was granted a three-day meet to be run at the current State Fair Park facility. The short meet will allow for simulcasting to continue in Lincoln in 2010 after the Nebraska State Fair, which currently operates racing in Lincoln, moves to Grand Island.

There will be a one-week break following racing at Horsemen's Park in Omaha before Columbus opens on July 31 this year. Atokad Downs will also add a Thursday to its weekend of racing as it rounds out the Thoroughbred season in September.

The complete schedule of live racing in Nebraska consists of 35 days at Fonner Park, Feb. 13 to May 2; 34 days at State Fair Park, May 8 to July 9; three days of racing at State Fair Park operated by Lincoln Downs, May 9 to May 12; four days of racing at Horsemen's Park, July 16 to July 19; 23 days at Columbus Ag Park, July 31 to Sept. 13; four days at Horsemen's Atokad Downs, Sept. 17-20; and one-day of racing at Fairplay Park on Sept. 26.