08/22/2013 3:01PM

Columbus: Spice Swirl going for third straight Maturity/Matron Stakes


Spice Swirl can be expected to rule a heavy favorite to win her third straight Columbus Maturity/Matron Stakes when she heads a compact field of five older Nebraska-bred fillies and mares going six furlongs at Columbus on Saturday evening.

Spice Swirl has a pair of stakes wins to her credit this year, taking the Orphan Kist at Fonner Park by six lengths and the Falls Amiss Handicap at Horsemen's Park by eight lengths. She was shipped over to Prairie Meadows, where she made two starts, her last coming July 7, when she was a closing second against optional-claiming company. A career winner of $144,726, Spice Swirl has posted a 10-5-2 mark from 29 starts.

Trainer Brian Roberts also will send out Sookie's Kookies as an uncoupled entry with Spice Swirl. Sookie's Kookies was second in the Orphan Kist this spring and then was dropped to the lowest level of her career when she made her last few starts at Prairie Meadows for a $5,000 claiming price. Jake Olesiak will ride Spice Swirl, and brother Jordan Olesiak will be aboard Sookie's Kookies.

Prime Bluff, trained by Mark Lemburg, could pose the biggest threat to Spice Swirl in this spot. Following a well-beaten fifth-place finish in the Falls Amiss Handicap at Omaha this year, she shipped to Arapahoe Park to make three starts then made her return to the Nebraska with a fast-closing third against $6,500-5,000 company here Aug. 9. Apprentice Nathan Haar has the return mount.