05/05/2011 1:24PM

Alywyn enters Fonner Park's Al Swihart with momentum


Alywyn returns off an impressive win and should rule the favorite in the $25,000-guaranteed Al Swihart Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares, the closing-day feature at Fonner Park.

In her last race, the Runza Stakes at six furlongs, Alywyn was knocked off stride at the start and dropped about 13 lengths off the early lead. She made a power move to reach the leaders into the far turn, flew past her rivals along the inside, and drew off in hand to win her first start of the year for trainer Jim Meyaard.

A 5-year-old mare, Alywyn has won 12 of her 20 career starts, including stakes wins last year in the City of Edmonton Distaff and the Duchess of York Handicap at Northlands Park in Canada, both at 1 1/16 miles. The 6 1/2 furlongs of the Al Swihart should be right up her alley. Chris Fackler gets the return mount.

Meyaard also sends out Smart Roar as an uncoupled entry in the Swihart. Smart Roar makes her first start of the year and her stakes debut. She won her maiden in September at Woodbine.

Defending champion Gracie Jane, trained by Jim Cranwell, has a pair of seconds and a third in her three starts this year. She was runner-up to Miss Missile in the 2009 Al Swihart and returns to defend her title with a mark of 4-6-2 from 13 starts over the Fonner Park surface.

Don Roberson will ship in Smoky Belle, who comes off a pair of good stakes efforts at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Smoky Belle was second to Beautician in the Pan Zareta going six furlongs Feb. 19, then was fifth in the Bienville Stakes on turf in her last start March 19.