10/15/2001 12:00AM

Nebraska schedule to stay similar


LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska State Racing Commission has allotted 103 racing dates to the five Nebraska tracks for the 2002 season, approving a schedule nearly identical to the 2001 season in the state.

Fonner Park in Grand Island remains in its usual opening spot on the schedule but will open a week earlier this year. The 40-day meet will start Feb. 9 and run through May 11 on a Friday-through-Sunday basis.

State Fair Park in Lincoln picks up May 17 with a 34-day meet through July 14. Horsemen's Park in Omaha will again offer a three-day festival the weekend of July 19-21. Agricultural Park in Columbus will again run 25 days, from July 26 to Sept. 15. Atokad Downs will again close out live racing in the state with a one-day meet Sept. 22.