04/10/2008 12:00AM

Nine prep for meet's biggest event


Okie Dozer rates the slight edge in a well-matched field of nine older horses in the $20,000 Dowd Mile Stakes at Fonner Park.

The Dowd serves as the local prep for the meet's showcase event, the $75,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on April 26.

Okie Dozer made his local debut two weeks ago with a second in the six-furlong Budweiser-Tondi Stakes. He moved to challenge Bevys Best into the far turn that day but could not close in the stretch. Trained by Dan Coughlin, Okie Dozer should now be primed for a top effort.

First Class Brass, third in the Budweiser-Tondi, should also attract a fair amount of support. First Class Brass captured the State Fair Board Stakes going a mile and 70 yards at Lincoln last summer and followed up with a second to Tepexpan in the $50,000 Omaha Stakes going a mile at Horsemen's Park.

His good showings early this year point First Class Brass as a horse to watch on the stretchout.

Trainer Kelli Martinez will send out First Class Brass as a coupled entry with Another Brother, an impressive winner of a pair of allowance sprints this season.

Skwhirl and Blumin Attitude, both stakes winners last year, appear to be rounding back into form.

Blumin Attitude won his maiden here last year and rattled off four straight wins. He got his fifth win of the year at Horsemen's Park in the Who Doctor Who Handicap, then was off for the rest of the year. He will be making his third start of the season after finishing fifth twice.

Skwhirl won the Amadevil Stakes at Columbus last summer and had a good wake-up call here in his last race. He was a fast-closing third against optional claiming company going six furlongs on March 22 and may appreciate the longer distance on Saturday.