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ColumbusPlatte County Fair

Columbus Races are run at a five eights mile at the Platte County Fairgrounds in Columbus, which is 90 miles northwest of Lincoln. Races are held in late summer in front of an open air grandstand that seats 4,000 there is no clubhouse. The stable area can stable 900 horses.

Columbus Races have been run over the five eights mile oval at the Platte County Fairgrounds for over seventy years. It has traditionally run a late summer meet that concludes on Labor Day. The track has a purse value index of 7, which means a lot of low priced claimers, with fair style racing. Columbus Races is where hall of fame trainer Jack Van Berg got his start. It is also a tribute to management and horseman alike that Columbus has succeeded without the aid of Racino gaming, but that may not bode well for the future.

ColumbusColumbus Races

At the end of the 2012 season the Agricultural Society which had promoted racing since 1942 decided to not request live racing dates in 2013. In an effort to save racing in Columbus, a private group took on the task to conduct the 2013 race meet. They asked for and were granted 16 live racing dates, down from 23 the previous year. The group said they would assess the 2013 meet, to see if racing here has a future.

The 2013 meet was run as scheduled. Jordan Olesiak was the leading rider for the meet. There was a $1.00 admission charge for the first time in years, but that didn't seem to be a big deal. Although it was estimated that a good percentage of people attending were from out of state, the new committee feels they can get the locals to come back and are looking ahead to racing again in 2014.

I guess I should try to spend some time in Nebraska, as Columbus is another no go for me. The good news is it's still alive and well, but I probably shouldn't wait too long.