Inaugural horse race is in the books at Winner's Circle - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Inaugural horse race is in the books at Winner's Circle

By: Megan Conway

The inaugural horse race is in the books at the Lincoln Race Course. The race was a hot one, but that didn't discourage the large crowd that came. The only mishap was one of the horses refused to stop at the end of the race.

"I knew that was going to be one of the biggest things to do after the race, was to get her stopped, but she didn't stop," says jockey Zach Zielger.

Husker Ridge, the quarter horse that took second place in the race, had a little trouble stopping at the end. After a chase across the road, and into a cornfield, she was finally caught. Other than that, the first live race at Winner's Circle went smoothly.

"On a Thursday, at one o'clock in the middle of a cornfield, to draw this kind of attendance, I think there's a real interest," says spectator Anne Christensen.

"I thought it was great, other than one jockey falling off, and the horse leaving," says spectator David Zimmerman.

It was a one–day, one–race event to fulfill a requirement, so the Lincoln Race Course can host simulcasting. Some are hoping Thursday's race could fuel the upcoming vote on Amendment One, which, if approved, would add betting on historic racing. That's where you bet on past races from all over the country. 

"All the information is scrubbed from them, so that no one has an advantage," says Jordan McGrain, spokesperson for Nebraskans for Amendment One.

Opponents of the amendment say this is just another example of expanded gambling and brings Nebraska closer to casino type betting. McGrain says passing it in November, would help interest more people in horse racing, which is a part of Nebraska's heritage.

"We don't have mountains. We don't have oceans; so when you're in Nebraska you've got to get creative about how you create avenues for tourism and economic development," says McGrain.

"The horseman and everybody in the state of Nebraska involved in horse racing, and the fans, owners, trainers. They need the help," says spectator Jack "Butch" Lindley.

If horse racing continues to expand, there are also plans of making the track a mile long race. The winner of the race was Western Devil rode by jockey Jake Olesiak.
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