05/04/2009 12:00AM

Miss Missile returns a winner at Fonner


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Miss Missile returned to Fonner Park and picked up where she left off with a strong 4 3/4-length win in the $25,750 Al Swihart Memorial Stakes as the track closed out its season Saturday.

Trained by Charles Smith, Miss Missile opened the season here Feb. 14 with a win in the half-mile Bold Accent Stakes. She was returned to her base in Texas and had not raced since, returning on Saturday to score as the 3-2 favorite in the field of 10. Beth Butler picked up the ride after Damon Leeds was injured in a starting gate mishap earlier on the card.

Miss Missile contested the pace with Jasper's Valentine for a half-mile, then accelerated through the final turn of the 6 1/2-furlong race to take command. She covered the distance in 1:18.40 over a fast track. Gracie Jane rallied to gain second while Jasper's Valentine faded to third.

Miss Missile, a 4-year-old, has won at 10 different distances in her career ranging from four furlongs out to 1 1/16 miles. The win boosted her career mark to 12-1-2 from 25 starts and earnings of $359,764.