The top three finishers in the 2014 of the Ogataul Stakes will meet up again Saturday in the $25,000 six furlong dash for Nebraska breds at Fonner Park.
Last year’s champion, Diamond Joe, drew the outside and rejoins jockey Jake Olesiak. The pair won three stakes together last season and was installed as the 8/5 morning line favorite. The seasoned and highly successful gelding (17 for 36 lifetime with $318,519 in earnings) will be making his seasonal debut and, while not training particularly fast coming into the race, he made his debut in this spot in 2014 and won as the odds on favorite.
Nic a Jack also returns to take on his 2014 nemesis. Last year Nic a Jack finished directly behind Diamond Joe in this race as well as the Who Doctor Who Stakes at Horsemen’s Park by a combined total of 1 1/2 lengths. Look for jockey Jordan Olesiak to try and utilize his mount’s early speed and draw inside of Diamond Joe to control the race.
Bach’s Homebrew closed out the 2014 season at Columbus with stirring come from behind victory in the Labor Day Stakes at Columbus. The 8-year old gelding has proven equally adept at racing on the lead as he has coming from behind. This versatility should give pilot Luis Ranilla some options as the race unfolds.
Newcomer to the handicap ranks, speedster 4-year old Super Charlie, is coming off a stellar 3-year old season where he came within a 1/2 length of going udefeated. In the Skunktail at Horsemen’s he built a three length lead before running out of gas late. He should be in the mix early and could help soften up the field for the defending champion or Bach’s Homebrew late.