03/28/2013 4:39PM

Fonner Park: Spice Swirl tops Runza lineup


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Fresh off a dominating win here two weeks ago, Spice Swirl is the one to beat as she headlines the field for the $15,000 Runza Stakes going six furlongs at Fonner Park on Saturday.

Spice Swirl came from just off the pace to dominate her statebred rivals by 6 1/2 lengths in the Orphan Kist Stakes on March 16. Spice Swirl, trained by Brian Roberts, posted a trio of stakes wins last year and is a back-to-back winner of the Orphan Kist. A trend of being unable to win consecutive races haunted Spice Swirl last year, when she lacked a closing punch while finishing fifth in this race.

T Jays Affair traded wins with Spice Swirl last year, and it would be no surprise to see these two battling it out in the stretch again on Saturday. T Jays Affair was a troubled third in the Orphan Kist when she got caught up in traffic leaving the first turn on this five-eighth-mile oval. She was just off the leaders into the lane but faded to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths that day while making her seasonal bow. That race should have her ready for a top effort for trainer Larry Donlin.

Trainer Milton Suter sends out Hot Body in search of her third straight win at the meet. Hot Body posted a mild upset when taking the half-mile Bold Accent Stakes here on March 2 at 4-1. She returned March 9 to score in a second-level allowance going six furlongs as the 3-5 favorite.

The Mike Kirby-trained Terice was a fast-closing second to Hot Body in the Bold Accent and rates a solid chance at pulling off the upset in this field while making her second start of the year. Terice won 4 of her 11 starts last year, including back-to-back wins against good company at Minnesota's Canterbury Park.