03/21/2010 12:00AM

The Nutz as good as ever in comeback


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - The Nutz turned in a strong performance in his first race back since last June as he took over through the far turn and rolled to a 3 1/2-length win to defend his title in the $25,450 Budweiser-Tondi Stakes at Fonner Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Nutz and jockey Damon Leeds were never far back in the six-furlong Budweiser-Tondi. After settling in sixth through the first turn, Leeds moved The Nutz to a narrow lead into the far turn, then opened the advantage into the stretch. The NutZ drew off under strong hand urging to get the distance in 1:13.40 over a fast track and returned $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite in a field of nine. The Nutz is now 6 for 6 at Fonner.

First Class Brass rallied along the rail through the far turn to gain second at 28-1, a neck in front of Skwhirl.

* Dazzling Seville also successfully defended her title in the $25,600 Orphan Kist Stakes for Nebraska-bred fillies and mares. With Luis Ranilla aboard, Dazzling Seville surged clear in the final furlong of the six-furlong race, then held Jane of Arcadia safe for a three-quarter-length win. She got the distance in 1:15.40 and returned $3.40 as the 3-5 favorite for trainer Robert Hoffman.

* S C Cloud Cat collected his maiden win with a half-length victory in the $10,800 Bachman Stakes for 3-year-olds going a half-mile. With Jordan Olesiak aboard, S C Cloud Cat shook off a challenge from Dant through the turn and kicked clear for his first career victory in eight starts. He was third against maiden company locally in his seasonal debut last month. S C Cloud Cat covered the four furlongs in .47.00 seconds for trainer Savannah Rentie.