04/25/2013 1:32PM

Fonner Park: Locals looking strong in Bosselman

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Shippers generally rule the roost in the $75,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes but Saturday’s edition features the strongest local contingent in years as an evenly matched field of eight will go a mile and a sixteenth in the meet’s showcase event.

The role of favorite will likely fall to Diamond Joe, trained by Chuck Turco, who is a nose and a short neck shy of riding a four-race win streak. Diamond Joe won nine straight races last year before having the streak end in the Oklahoma Derby. He rebounded from a last-place finish in that race to be second, beaten a nose against optional claiming company at Remington Park in early November.

After taking the winter off, he returned to Nebraska and rattled off a pair of stakes victories before being caught late in the Dowd Mile here April 6. Diamond Joe brings a lifetime mark of 12-5-0 from 20 starts into the Bosselman as he seeks to go over $200,000 in earnings Saturday. Regular rider Jake Olesiak will be aboard.

Unsaddled Glory, trained by Larry Donlin, was the late-running winner of the Dowd while making his second start of the year. Unsaddled Glory was given time off after a June start last year at Churchill Downs. He returned to the races March 23 and finished a closing third to Diamond Joe in the Budweiser-Tondi Stakes going six furlongs. The Dowd Mile was Unsaddled Glory’s first stakes win.

Ransom Roberto, the defending Bosselman winner trained by Wilson Brown, arrived earlier this week and is seeking his first win of the year after a pair of thirds at Will Rogers Downs.

Also coming in for the race is Joy Boy, trained by Kellyn Gorder. Joy Boy is locally owned by the TK Stables of Tammie and Kevin Hulse. Joy Boy was claimed by his connections for $40,000 at Santa Anita in March. He set the pace in that one-mile optional claiming race before fading to third.

Randy Morse will ship Kate’s Main Man in from Prairie Meadows. He comes into the race off a pair of wins at Oaklawn Park against optional-claiming and starter-allowance company.

Stanley Mankin will send out an uncoupled entry of Corporate Chapel and Wild Jacob. Wild Jacob rallied strongly to be second in this race last year and opened his 2013 campaign with a sixth in the Dowd Mile. Bach’s Homebrew, third in the Dowd Mile, is a locally based horse trained by Larry Staroscik.

◗ Sharing the Saturday spotlight is the $25,000 Al Swihart Memorial Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs. The race was moved up a week from its traditional closing-day position on the calendar. Terice is the likely favorite in the field of eight off a strong 2 1/4-length win going six furlongs in the Runza Stakes here March 30.