05/04/2010 11:00PM

New names close in on Fonner titles


There will be new leaders atop both the trainer and jockey standings when Fonner Park closes its 31-day run Saturday.

Jordan Olesiak has led the rider standings from early in the meet and has 43 wins, giving him an 11-win margin over second-place rider Luis Ranilla heading into the final two days of racing. Apprentice Ashley Dill ranks third, with 30 wins.

Chris Fackler, a late arrival to the jockey colony, picked up his second four-bagger of the season last Saturday and stands sixth in the standings. Last year, Fackler and Jesus Ponce shared the riding title at Fonner.

The trainers' race will bear watching this weekend as Chuck Turco sits in the driver's seat with a 20-16 edge over Dudley Graham. Both trainers are likely to send out a number of runners this weekend, extending the contest to the final day. A log jam for third has developed, with Milt Gaede and Marv Johnson tied at 12 wins each and Larry Donlin and Kim Veerhusen tied with 11.

A pair of stakes races for 3-year-old Nebraska-breds close out the season Saturday, with the fillies division and colts/geldings division of the $25,000-added Fonner Park Special Stakes both on tap. Also on the card is the longest race of the meet, the $10,000 Coors Starter Allowance at a 1 1/8 miles for older horses.

The racing scene in Nebraska switches to the capital city next week as Lincoln Race Course opens May 14 for a 33-day meet that runs through July 18. The track, formerly known as State Fair Park, began operating under the management of Omaha Exposition and Racing on Jan. 1.