03/03/2005 1:00AM

Fonner: Flaming Knight seeks repeat


Flaming Night will face seven other Nebraska-bred fillies and mares when she attempts to defend her title in the $25,000 Orphan Kist Handicap.

While Flaming Night is the defending champion in the six-furlong Orphan Kist, she'll need to improve off her disappointing fifth in the Bold Accent Handicap here opening weekend. Last year's Orphan Kist win was Flaming Night's only victory of the year but she may have run her best race in the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper at Canterbury Park where she finished third, beaten about eight lengths. Dennis Collins will once again be in the saddle when Flaming Night breaks from post 6 under 119 pounds.

Kenneth Kirby will send out Up 'n Blumin for her first stakes attempt following an impressive nonwinners-of-three-lifetime allowance win here Feb. 18. A 4-year-old daughter of Blumin Affair, Up 'n Blumin is out of the good producing mare Upishness, who has thrown well known local runners Dr. Up and multiple stakes winning Queen of Screen. Perry Compton will ride from post 8 at 115 pounds. This will by far be her toughest task to date but she rates a slight nod to pull off the upset.

Smooth Shannon also bears watching in this wide open affair from trainer Mike Kirby. Smooth Shannon went winless in three starts last year but can be counted on to give a good account of herself.