04/14/2005 11:00PM

Strength in numbers for Johnson


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Trainer Marv Johnson will try take a big bite out of the purse in Sunday's $30,000 Fonner Park Special Stakes for 3-year-old Nebraska-bred fillies when he sends out four of the nine starters in the six-furlong race.

Johnson will saddle Dress Right, Lovely Jewel, and Confident Consumer as part of a three-horse entry for owner Don Everett's Bluestem Farm, and also has Cerveza Lite as a separate wagering interest for owner Ed Rotherham.

All three of the Bluestem Farm fillies look about equal, but Lovely Jewel may have been the most impressive and stands to get a pace to run at on Sunday. Lovely Jewel won her maiden at first asking on March 20 when she rallied from well off the pace for a 5 3/4-length victory under R. D. Williams, who remains in the saddle for Sunday. Lovely Jewel breaks from post 4, while Dress Right, with Perry Compton aboard, is in post 3, and Confident Consumer, ridden by Jerry Carkeek, will be in post 5. Cerveza Lite drew post 6 and has Armando Martinez in the irons.

The main threat to a Johnson sweep comes from leading trainer David Anderson, who sends out Nurse Alice. She has tactical speed that should allow her to settle just off the early pace. Curtis Kimes will be aboard from post 9.

Dabney is a two-time winner at this meet and will have Mark Luark aboard from post 6. She won her maiden in February and returned a week later to defeat nowinners-of-two statebred allowance company. Her last start came March 19 against older fillies and mares. She was shuffled back at the start and could not display her speed.