08/25/2004 12:00AM

Scratches cause domino effect at Columbus


COLUMBUS, Neb. - Last weekend was a rough one for both horses and riders, with a total of 18 scratches from the 27 races offered.

Eleven riders were named to ride on the Friday card, but only seven were left standing by the end of the program. A lack of riders caused three of the 10 horses in the ninth race to scratch. Riders were missing because of a number of reasons, including illness and bangs and bruises.

On Friday, seven horses were scratched because of a lack of riders. Two horses were scratched Saturday for the same reason.

On Sunday, three horses were scratched because of the rider shortage, and another six were withdrawn as veterinarian scratches.

* Newil Wall returned to riding last weekend on a limited basis after missing several weeks with a broken collarbone, the result of a morning training accident in Lincoln.

Lee Sensenbach will return to riding this weekend and has been named to ride in seven races for Friday's card. Sensenbach returns from a one-year suspension for a positive drug test.

Yuri Yaranga will be out indefinitely after being struck in the face by a whip on Saturday evening. The incident, following Saturday's eighth race, resulted in a $400 fine for Armando Martinez, who reportedly struck Yaranga following the running of the race.

* Apprentice rider Channing Hill celebrated his 17th birthday last Sunday with a win aboard Anticipate Magic for trainer Jerry Cole. The win was his third of the meet and, appropriately, returned $17. At Prairie Meadows, Hill has 11 wins from 118 mounts through Tuesday's racing.