04/05/2012 1:44PM

Fonner: The Nutz tunes up for Bosselman/Fonner in Dowd Mile


The Nutz, prepping for the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes later this month, heads a good field of eight older horses in the $20,000 Dowd Mile Stakes at Fonner Park on Saturday.

The Nutz made his seasonal debut with a hard-charging neck win in the Budweiser-Tondi Stakes on March 10 as he rallied from last to run down Song of Humor in the closing jumps. He won the Dowd Mile in 2009 along with the 2008 edition of the Bosselman/Gus Fonner for trainer Steve Hall and has compiled a career mark of 9-5-4 from 23 starts for earnings of $162,875. Nestor Maldonado will again have the mount.

Song of Humor also comes back in this race along with his stablemate Tenth Power as a strong one-two punch for trainer Milton Gaede. Song of Humor opened his season locally Feb. 25 with a 1 1/4-length win in the Grasmick Stakes at a half-mile, then just failed to hold off The Nutz in his last start.

Tenth Power is a multiple stakes winner who was most recently a troubled third against optional claiming company on March 18.

In the co-featured $10,000 Runza Stakes for fillies and mares going six furlongs, Brian Roberts sends out the strong entry of Spice Swirl and Sookie’s Kookies off their one-two finish in the Orphan Kist Stakes on March 24. The pair finished a half-length apart in that race and should be strongly favored to repeat the feat.

Chuck Turco sends out Gibson Crystal off a win in her seasonal bow March 10 against optional claiming company and merits much respect in this spot. Gibson Crystal closed out her season last year with a victory in the Bill Callahan Stakes at Columbus and seeks a third straight win.