09/15/2012 8:00AM

Remington Park: Nebraska star Diamond Joe wins ninth straight, Oklahoma Derby next


Diamond Joe won his ninth straight race - and first outside of Nebraska - on Friday night at Remington Park and is now being pointed for the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. The horse will be seeking his 10th consecutive win when he starts in the mile and an eighth stakes  to be run Sept. 30.

Diamond Joe’s streak began March 24, and he entered Friday’s allowance in a three-way tie as the winningest horse this year in North America. But he now occupies the top spot alone after he stalked the pace in second, then held off a rail bid from King Coral for a three-quarter -ength win under Cliff Berry. Diamond Joe covered a mile on a muddy main track in 1:38.28.

“That will tighten him up for the 30th, hopefully,” said Chuck Turco, who trains Diamond Joe for the partnership of Joe Koziol and Joe Miller.

Turco has long had the Oklahoma Derby as a target for Diamond Joe, who overall has won 10 of 15 starts and $126,116. He is an eight-time stakes winner. Diamond Joe is a son of Dazzling Falls, who Turco sent out to win the Oklahoma Derby in 1995.

* In the featured $50,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint, which was moved to the main track, Conkigo led throughout for a 4 3/4-length win over favorite Steal Your Face. It was another two lengths back in third to Stickrossmountain.

Conkigo ($7.20) broke with the field in the five-furlong race and held a slight lead over two rivals through an opening quarter in 21.99 seconds. He proceeded to separate himself from the field through a half-mile in 45.12, and went on to cover the distance on a track rated good in 58.50.

"He was the speed of the race,” said Martin Escobar, who rode the winner for trainer Martin Lozano. “The horse gave me everything.”

Gary Owens bred and owns Conkigo, who has now won three straight races. Conkigo won his first stakes race Friday night, and overall has compiled a record of nine wins from 23 starts for earnings of $179,350.