05/03/2004 12:00AM

Fonner Park: 'Southern' all the way


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Southern Alert picked up her first stakes win with a 1 1/4-length victory in the $25,000 Al Swihart Memorial Handicap on Saturday.

Ridden by R. D. Williams, Southern Alert set all of the pace of the 6 1/2-furlong test for fillies and mares and had enough left to hold off defending champion Burning Memories. Holding a clear lead through fractions of 22.00, 45.60, and 1:11, Southern Alert finished up the 6 1/2 furlongs in a meet best 1:18.20 for trainer Larry Donlin.

Southern Alert returned $25.40 for the win and combined with 1-2 favorite Burning Memories for a $70.40 exacta. A daughter of Southern Halo, Southern Alert was coming off an allowance win at six furlongs.