To celebrate Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby, Horsemen's Park will hold its first Derby tent party.
The large tent, usually reserved for the live race meets, will feature several Derby-related activities. There will be a hat contest for women, mint juleps will be sold and band On the Fritz will perform.
General Manager Greg Hosch said the tent festivities have been considered for several years.
“With our live racing festival the following weekend (May 10-12), this was the perfect year to do it,” he said.
Horsemen's Park will open at 9 a.m. Friday in anticipation of that day's simulcast of the Kentucky Oaks and 8 a.m. Saturday for Kentucky Derby day. Simulcast wagering both days from Churchill Downs begins at 9:30 a.m.
Drawings for official Derby T-shirts and hats will be held after Churchill Downs' early races Saturday. Official Derby items also will be available for sale.
Advance wagering for Saturday's Churchill Downs races will begin Friday at the facility, located at 63rd & Q.
Diamond Joe sparkles again
Diamond Joe became the first Nebraska-bred to capture the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes last Saturday at Grand Island's Fonner Park.
Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Diamond Joe posted a one-length victory to capture the $84,000 race. Kate's Main Man ran second and Joy Boy finished third.
The 4-year-old gelding by Dazzling Falls covered the 1116 -mile distance in 1:4615 and paid $6.40 to win. It was the 13th victory in 21 career starts for Diamond Joe, who won nine consecutive races in 2012.
The winner was ridden by Jake Olesiak and trained by Omahan Chuck Turco.
Jockey Thompson sixth at Oaklawn
Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln graduate Terry Thompson finished sixth in the jockey standings at the recently concluded Oaklawn Park meet in Hot Springs, Ark.
Thompson rode 27 winners in 231 mounts. He also was aboard 25 second-place finishers and 27 third-place horses, and his mounts earned more than $805,000.
Two jockeys who have ridden in Nebraska, Luis Quinonez and Cliff Berry, also finished in the top 10. Quinonez was fourth with 33 wins and Berry was fifth with 29.
Ricardo Santana Jr. ran away with the Oaklawn jockey title, winning 70 races.
Prairie Meadows begins live meet
Prairie Meadows recently began its live race meet in suburban Des Moines.
The track started racing April 19 and will race through Aug. 10. Post time Thursdays through Saturdays is 6:30 p.m., and post time Sundays is 1 p.m.
— Mike Patterson