08/30/2010 9:57AM

Favorites fail in Columbus stakes


COLUMBUS, Neb. - Sweet Violet and Bumper posted mild upsets in their respective divisions of the Columbus Breeders' Special Stakes for Nebraska-bred 3-year-olds at Columbus on Sunday afternoon.

Sweet Violet gained her first stakes win as she rallied past a tiring Miss Affair, the 4-5 favorite, then held off Zena's Affair to win the fillies division. Miss Affair set the early pace in the 6 1/2-furlong race and opened up by four lengths at the top of the stretch. She faded to third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths.

Sweet Violet, trained by Ron Westermann, has been off the board only once her 12 starts this year. She has a lifetime mark of 2-4-4 from 18 starts and earnings of $32,272. She covered the distance in 1:23.40 over a fast track with Luis Ranilla aboard and paid $7.

The field was reduced to four with the defections of Lou Lou Larue and T Jay's Affair.

In the colts and geldings division, Bumper held off 1-5 favorite Bach's Homebrew in the stretch to score by 1 1/4 lengths as Ranilla gained his fourth win on the card.

Bumper got the early jump in the field of five and cruised on a clear lead throughout. He had enough left in the lane to hold off Bach's Homebrew, who like Bumper is trained by Larry Staroscik. Bumper won his career debut at Fonner park this spring and was collecting his first stakes win. He improved his lifetime mark to 4-0-2 from 7 starts and earnings of $27,455. He covered the distance in 1:22 while returning $10 for the win.