04/07/2011 4:58PM

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


The Nutz returns to action Saturday off a runner-up effort in his seasonal debut to head a field of nine older horses in the $20,000 Dowd Mile Stakes at Fonner Park. The Dowd serves as the final local prep for the $75,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes later this month.

The Nutz won this race in 2009 and came back to win the Bosselman the same year. Last year, he was third in the Dowd then tired to last in the Bosselman in a rare poor showing for The Nutz, trained by Steve Hall. Now 7, he made his 2011 debut on March 12 in the $25,000 Budweiser/Tondi Stakes, and rallied to be beaten a neck in a blanket finish that had the top five finishers separated by slightly more than a length.

Trainer Dudley Graham sends out Honkytonk Stomp in search of his third win of the year. Honkytonk Stomp won an open allowance race at Beulah Park in January, then equaled the four-furlong track record of 44.20 here on opening weekend with a 4 1/2-length win in the Grasmick Stakes. He won the Van Berg Derby going a mile and 70 yards at Columbus last year and will be making his second start going around three turns on a five-eighth-mile oval. Last year, he compiled a 4-0-2 record from 6 starts and has never been worse than third in his nine-race career.

Tiger Lake, fifth-place finisher in the Bud/Tondi while beaten 1 1/4 lengths, will make his second start of the year and should also loom a threat. Trained in Nebraska by Chuck Turco, Tiger Lake has earned more than $270,000 while competing primarily in stakes company at Prairie Meadows.