04/28/2004 11:00PM

Fonner Park: 'Burning' back to defend

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Burning Memories will try and defend her title in the $25,000 Al Swihart Memorial Handicap at Fonner Park.

Burning Memories returned to her old form in the April 10 Runza Handicap, where she scored by 1 1/4 lengths under a confident ride by Perry Compton. She finished sixth in her seasonal debut here March 20 when failing to offer a bid.

Compton will return aboard Burning Memories for trainer Jim Cranwell in the 6 1/2-furlong Swihart, which drew a field of 10.

Southern Alert is the speediest of the speed horses and comes off a 4 3/4-length win over nonwinners-of-three-lifetime allowance company April 2. Trained by Larry Donlin, Southern Alert has a world of speed and has opened up by as many as eight lengths in the early going of her local races. Negotiating the extra sixteenth of a mile of this race may prove too much for her, however.

Flaming Night, trained by Brian Roberts, won the Orphan Kist Handicap here in early March and has since registered a pair of thirds, including the Runza Handicap.

Cassa's Affair has the stalking style to lay just off the pace and looms an upsetter here. She was second in the Orphan Kist, then defeated male rivals under nonwinners-of-four-lifetime allowance conditions in her last outing.