04/08/2010 12:00AM

The Nutz the standout


The Nutz should rule a heavy favorite at Fonner Park in the $20,000 Dowd Mile Stakes, the local prep for the $75,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes on April 24.

The Nutz won this race last year but was sidelined before the Bosselman with a foot abscess that prevented him from defending his 2008 title in the race. The 1 1/16-mile Bosselman is the showcase event of Fonner Park season and the richest race offered in the Nebraska.

The Nutz, trained by Steve Hall, opened his 2010 campaign on March 20 by romping home 3 1/2 lengths in front in the $25,000 Budweiser-Tondi Stakes at six furlongs. That was The Nutz's first race since last June. The performance earned him an Beyer Speed Figure of 89, a career-best number. Damon Leeds will ride.

Trainer Jason Wise brings in Elusive Pleasure, a two-time winner this year at Turf Paradise. Elusive Pleasure has been a solid competitor against higher-priced claiming and allowance company in Arizona. His most recent race came March 19 when he was eighth against mid-level allowance company on turf.

Others prepping towards a date in the Bosselman later this month include First Class Brass, second in the Budweiser-Tondi, and Skwhirl, winner of the Ogataul Stakes in his first start this year and third in the Budweiser-Tondi.

Roaring Home, trained by Joanna Lambert, could find himself alone the lead in this spot and prove tough to catch. He opened his campaign just a week ago when third to the multiple stakes winner Reach One More in an allowance race.