05/31/2013 12:04PM

Delaunay headed to Prairie Meadows for Iowa Sprint Handicap

John Bambury
Delaunay will make his next start in the Iowa Sprint Handicap on June 28 at Prairie Meadows.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Delaunay might well be the best sprinter in North America right now – and in fact he occupies the No. 1 spot in that category in Daily Racing Form ’s latest Watchmaker Watch.

But owner Maggi Moss and Tom Amoss are not going out of their way to prove it – not just yet, anyway.

Amoss said Friday that the likely next start for Delaunay is the June 28 Iowa Sprint Handicap, a $125,000, six-furlong race to be run at Prairie Meadows, the hometown track for Moss. Delaunay might well be 1-10 to win that race.

“Maggi lives in Des Moines and likes to race there when the right kind of situation presents itself,” Amoss said. “I’m all for it.”

Moss has been the leading owner at Prairie Meadows for 11 straight seasons and has built a substantial lead there this year, with 16 wins from 45 starts and earnings of $302,594.

“Delaunay was considered for Belmont’s True North and Calder’s Smile Sprint Handicap, but the timing of the Iowa Sprint is ideal,” Moss said.

Amoss said ample opportunities will be available as the year unfolds to try Delaunay against top-class company. Asked whether he might send Delaunay to run at Saratoga this summer, Amoss said: “We haven’t gotten that far.”

Delaunay, a 6-year-old Maryland-bred gelding, has won 7 of 8 starts since Moss claimed him for $40,000 in May 2012. He has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in his last six races, including a 110, 111, and 109 in his three races this year.

In his most recent start, Delaunay won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on the May 4 Kentucky Derby undercard by four lengths. The gelding has trained steadily since then, with his latest breeze, a half-mile in 48.20 seconds on Thursday at Churchill.

Prairie Meadows also could get another graded winner owned by Moss and trained by Amoss for its Iowa Festival of Racing at month’s end. That would be So Many Ways, who is likely for the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks on June 29.

“We have not nailed that down yet, but it does look like we may be leaning that way,” Amoss said.

So Many Ways, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway last year and the Grade 3 Eight Belles on May 3 at Churchill, also worked on Thursday, going five furlongs in a bullet 59.40.

“She’s bounced out of the Eight Belles real well,” Amoss said.

Meanwhile, Mylute, trained by Amoss for Gold Mark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm, continues to gallop on a daily basis at Churchill after having been withdrawn from the Triple Crown series. Fifth in the Kentucky Derby and third in Preakness, Mylute is skipping the Belmont Stakes and probably will race next in late July to early August, Amoss said.

Reminded that that time frame fits the Haskell at Monmouth and Jim Dandy at Saratoga, Amoss said: “I know, but we’re not talking about those particular races yet.”

Amoss said once Mylute shows up on the Churchill work tab, “He’ll be back on a regular work schedule up to his next race.”

– additional reporting by Bob Nastanovich