08/25/2005 11:00PM

Split Special divisions at Columbus


COLUMBUS, Neb. - Nebraska-bred 3-year-olds compete Sunday in $12,500-added divisons of the Columbus Breeders' Special Handicap. My Hobby heads the filly division and Uncle Beno should be favored in the colts and geldings division.

My Hobby should be odds-on when she faces four rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong race. Trained by Larry Staroscik, My Hobby has placed in several stakes this year, including runs against the boys in Baxter Stakes and Nebraska Derby at Fonner Park and the State Fair Breeders and State Fair Derby at Lincoln. Her lone win this year came in the Breeders' Special at Lincoln, but she should be more than up to the task in this spot despite carrying 121 pounds and spotting her rivals from five to seven pounds. Armando Martinez will ride.

Uncle Beno was a strong second to Chasin the Wind in last Saturday's Van Berg Derby at a mile and 70 yards. Trained by Brian Roberts, Uncle Beno will be turning back in distance off his three previous races, which were at a mile or longer. He has R.D. Williams in the saddle at 118 pounds.

Four of the top five finishers from the Skunktail Stakes at Horsemen's Park meet again in this spot. In addition to Uncle Beno, who was fifth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths that day, the field also includes Big Red Fantasy and Will Rein, the dead-heat winners of the Skunktail, and Cork the Barber, who finished fourth, a neck back. Cork the Barber and Uncle Beno were each moved up a position in that race when The Straw Man was disqualified from third to fifth for interference.