Prairie Meadows will close the Thoroughbred portion of the season this evening showcasing Iowa breds over six stakes races worth over $500,000.
Dan Johnson Memorial Sprint ($75,000)
Eight sprinters will go six furlongs and are led to the post by 9/5 morning line favorite Scherer Magic. A very sharp winner of back to back allowance scores, Scherer Magic is trained by Ray Ashford and will be piloted by Ken Tohill. He’ll have company from others on the front end and if you’re looking for another sharp horse that could score at a price, take a look at Rootie Tourtie. An off the pace winner of three of four while climbing the class ladder, he could be a bit of a price with a morning line of 10-1.
Iowa Sorority ($75,000)
A six furlong sprint for 2-year old fillies, the Sorority features one starter who is perfect on her young career, Who’s Smoking. She started her career with a first out maiden win and followed that up with a win in the Prairie Gold Lassie. This is her first time facing only state bred rivals and she retains the services of Alex Canchari for trainer Jon Arnett.
Iowa Breeders’ Oaks ($80,000)
The 3-year old fillies stretch out to a mile and 70 yards in the Oaks which features a closely matched field of 12. While Colerful Bride is the only stakes winner in the field, she has run an abbreviated 3-year old campaign with only two starts, albeit a win and a second but has been off since the end of May. Wait N C Spring (6-1 ML) is coming off a win in an open $20,000 claiming race be had some difficulty with higher level state breds this season, however she and Raegen Harper (12-1 ML) are the only fillies to have navigated a route with some success and bring a lot of value with this large field.
Iowa Cradle ($75,000)
It is the 2-year old boys’ turn in the Cradle. Like the Sorority, one freshman boy comes in two for two with a stakes win and that’s Cornfed. The aptly named Iowa bred was able to dominate a maiden field after a slow beginning and then cruised to a win in the Iowa Stallion Futurity. On his outside will be Prairie Gold Juvenile runner up No Holds Barred. While a distant 2nd to Cornfed in the Futurity after burning a lot of energy with his fractious behavior, he bounced back nicely in the open stake and should welcome the return to state bred company. A bit of unknown is Chris Richard’s One Fine Dream whose debut in July was very impressive as he demolished his maiden field in his first out by 11 lengths. Should he be able to build on that performance, he may be the one to beat.
Iowa Breeders’ Derby ($80,000)
A field of 13 will step into the gate for the Breeders’ Derby with the 7/2 favorite taking his spot on the far outside. The Bill Mott trained Net Gain is returning home for the first timefor the Derby having been plying his trade mainly in New York. He was third in the Private Terms Stakes over a muddy Laurel surface and, after a freshener in late spring, came back to place fourth in a Belmont allowance over the turf. A consistent runner with only his maiden win to his credit, some home cookin’ could be just what the doctor ordered. As an off the pace type, the outside post, while not ideal, shouldn’t be as much of a hindrance in the mile and a sixteenth Derby.
Ralph Hayes Stakes ($100,000)
The mile and a sixteenth Hayes features two stakes winners: the long shot Cyclones winner Excessive and the John Wayne winner Cainam. Excessive has two wins in five starts this season and both are over state bred horses going long. Two of his three losses have come in sprints while the other was going long against open company last out in a $40,000 optional claimer. Cainam has had his success sprinting and faltered badly in the Cylcones, losing to Excessive by 10 lengths.
Donna Reed Stakes ($100,000)
Closing the stakes action for the Thoroughbred season is the mile and 70 yard Donna Reed for older fillies and mares. Rallydownthealley has a strong second in the Hawkeyes to her credit behind the phenomenal Sumting Wong. She followed that up with another second in an allowance but finished behind I Tour, who she faces in here again. Those two appear to be the class of the least decorated field of the day, but should either falter it could be bombs away.
Post time for Iowa Classic Day is 7:30 PM. The Quarter Horses make their seasonal debut at Prairie Meadows next weekend.