Fonner Park first opened its gates to thoroughbred racing in 1954 and now provides live racing on its glorious 280 acre site throughout the months of February, March, April and May. It is situated off interstate 80 in the centre of Nebraska in Grand Island and boasts excellent facilities, including various grandstand viewing points, the most prized of which are the Skyline, the Box and the Turf Club Stands.

Fonner Park 1971.JPG (4970 bytes)

The principal race of the Fonner Park programme is the Bosselman/ Gus Fonner Stakes. This is held each April and in 2012 was contested on Saturday 28th April. In 2012 the race was won by Ransom Roberto ridden by David Cardoso and trained by Wilson L Brown. The winner’s prize of $75,000 was picked up by owner Steve Martin. The 2009 race was the 50th running with a purse of $75,000 and was won in emphatic style by Budge Man by 2 1/2 lengths. He went off the third favourite at 5/1 and was ridden by Jesus Ponce.

The start of the 2009 season in February suffered a setback when heavy snowstorms caused its cancellation, although the track is famous for simulcasting races from across the States and was able to continue.

Live race meetings are a celebration of all that is good about Nebraska, with craft shows, a chance to be recreative and share experiences with the family.

I am grateful to our American Racing Correspondent Richard Gauthier for the badges shown on this page.

The last flat race meeting of the year is held in early May and the traditional final race is the 9 furlong Coors Starter Allowance.
If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email