04/27/2013 7:45PM

Fonner Park: Diamond Joe wins a Bosselman for the home team

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Diamond Joe became the first Nebraska-bred to capture the $84,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes in what was  one of the most stirring runnings in the 24 years of the event.

Diamond Joe was the slight favorite 2-1 over California invader Joy Boy in the field of eight older horses going a mile and a sixteenth. Trained by Chuck Turco and ridden by Jake Olesiak, Diamond Joe displayed the same sort of grit he showed last year in winning nine consecutive races and earning a berth in the Oklahoma Derby.

On Saturday he was up to the task, shadowing the pace set by Joy Boy, edging clear nearing the lane, and then keeping Iowa shipper Kate's Main Man at bay to score by a length. Diamond Joe returned $6.40 for the win while covering the distance in 1:46.20 over a fast track. The winner's share, including a $9,000 Nebraska-bred bonus, came to $54,000 and boosted his career earnings to $226,029 from a mark of 13-5-0 from 21 starts.

Kate's Main Man narrowly got up for the place by a neck over Joy Boy in third.

Diamond Joe is a 4-year-old gelding by Dazzling Falls, an earner of $900,000 who was also trained by Turco. His win inspired loud chants of “Joe, Joe, Joe" from the large group on hand in and near the winner's circle following the race.

* In the race preceding the Bosselman/Gus Fonner, Lil Missknowitall took over nearing the stretch and cruised to a 3 1/2-length win in the $27,000 Al Swihart Memorial Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs. With Curtis Kimes riding for trainer Jim Meyaard, Lil Missknowitall returned $7 as the favorite in the field of nine. A recent claim at Oaklawn Park, Lil Missknowitall covered the distance in 1:19.20 while making her first start for her new connnections.