Six new members will be inducted March 7 into the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame.
» Tim Doocy, a jockey with more than 5,000 career wins.
» Ken Shino, who has ridden more than 2,500 winners.
» Larry Donlin Sr., a trainer with 956 career wins since 1973.
» Larry “Butch” Staroscik, a trainer who had 1,246 career wins.
» Ann Shea, a longtime employee of the Nebraska Racing Commission.
» Carolyn Legenza, who served as the horsemen’s bookkeeper for many years.
The induction dinner and event will be held in Grand Island at Fonner Park’s Heartland Events Center.
Longtime owner Seldin dies
Local racing recently lost a friend with the passing of longtime owner and breeder Millard Seldin.
The Omaha real estate developer died Jan. 24 at age 93 in Arizona.
A native of Council Bluffs, Seldin owned several thoroughbreds that competed at the now-closed Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack. Most were trained by his longtime friend Hoss Inman, who cared for Seldin’s horses from 1978 until he passed away 15 years later.
Among Seldin’s stakes winners were Her Valentine, Dr. Hugs, Unloved, Nurse Floy, Never a Playboy and High on Laraka. His horse Turn and Dance had career earnings of more than $200,000 and his Wild for Traci competed in the 1990 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies race, losing to the heavily favored Meadow Star.
Seldin’s horses also competed and won at other tracks, including Turf Paradise in Arizona and Oaklawn in Arkansas. He was named the Nebraska horse breeder of the year in 1988.
Services were held Jan. 28 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Tracks seek date changes
Two racetracks hope to tweak their racing dates at the Feb. 18 meeting of the Nebraska Racing Commission.
Agricultural Park in Columbus and Lincoln Race Course will seek slight changes. Columbus was scheduled to race 11 days from May 29 to June 28 while Lincoln was set for three race days from July 3-5.
Under the new proposal, Columbus would race nine days from May 29 to June 21 and Lincoln would run its three days June 26-28.
“It helps them and it helps us," Lincoln General Manager Mike Newlin said. “We were concerned about racing over the Fourth of July weekend."
Newlin, who also is the general manager of Horsemen’s Park in Omaha, said construction continues on the racetrack in Lincoln.
“We’re making great progress on the racing surface," he said. “We’re still working on the rail, the stewards’ stand and other things, but we’re moving forward."
When completed, the seven-furlong track will be the largest in Nebraska.
Schedule shifts at Columbus
Columbus General Manager Dan Clarey said his main goal in the coming months will be to alert fans of the major shift in that track’s race dates.
Agricultural Park has raced from mid-August to September for the past 20 years. That will change this year, with the race dates moving up from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
The change, which will allow continuous racing at the four main Nebraska tracks, came at the request of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The hope is that by starting Feb. 21 at Fonner Park and ending June 28 at Lincoln Race Course, horses, trainers and jockeys will remain in the state.
“It’s a big change for us," Clarey said. “We’ll run these dates in 2020 and see how it goes."
Columbus is expected to race May 29-30, June 5-6, June 12-13 and June 19-21.
Clarey said he already has to head off two proposed class reunions that were scheduled at the racetrack in August.
“Everyone here is used to our usual dates," he said. “We’ll need to get the word out the best we can about the changes."
The Nebraska 100: Our greatest athletes
The Nebraska 100, originally selected in 2005 and then updated and re-ranked in 2015, came from a pool of nearly 500 names from the ranks of high school, college, amateur and professional sports from the past 140 years. Assistance came from a panel of veteran sports observers from across the state, with the newspaper's sports staff determining the final rankings.