Fonner Park closes out season with 31st running of the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - This season was unlike anything that fonner park could have ever expected

Sleepy Eyes Todd and his team pose in the winner's circle after taking home the Boss Cup.

"Today is the culmination of six weeks of no spectator racing," said Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak.

Typically 7,500 people pack the track for the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes, the final day of racing for the scheduled season.

But in the big race's 31st year, that was not the case.

"It culminates on this day and we would typically have a packed grandstand," said Kotulak. "There would be music going, maybe additional promotions that are ongoing. That's not happening."

However eyes all around the world were on Fonner Park today, like they have been for the past six weeks.

Which has helped Fonner Park get a second season of no-spectator racing approved starting next week.

The popularity has brought in some of the fastest horses the track has ever had

"There are only six race tracks operating when at this time of the year there might be 30 race tracks operating at this time," said Kotulak. "So horsemen that have a nice horse need a place to run it, and many have come to Fonner Park."

With a $50,000 purse and the Boss Cup on the line, who did Kotulak like entering the race?

"Well there's a horse who will be easy to spot, a grey horse, his name is Sleepy Eyes Todd," said Kotulak. "I happened to see him this morning, he is a grand looking specimen of a thoroughbred."

Kotulak knows his horses.

From start to finish, Sleepy Eyes Todd from texas, and with 5-1 odds, took home the cup.

Miguel Silva - Horse Trainer and David Cobb - Owner of Thumbs Up Racing
"He's made us very, very proud today. I mean he's been through a lot this poor guy," said Sleepy Eyes Todd and Thumbs Up Racing owner David Cobb.

While they said the win topped it all off, they couldn't say enough about their experience in Nebraska and Fonner Park.

Miguel Silva - Horse Trainer and David Cobb - Owner of Thumbs Up Racing

"Thank you Nebraska for letting us be here," said Sleepy Eyes Todd trainer Miguel Silva.

"Yes absolutely, thank you Nebraska. This has been a wonderful experience," said Cobb. "The day was amazing, and we look forward to the derby again in 2021, at a great place, Fonner Park."

So here's to next year, and hopefully we can enjoy it back in the grandstands.