07/01/2007 12:00AM

Dry Martini gets up late in Cornhusker


ALTOONA, Iowa - Dry Martini wore down Silent Pleasure inside the sixteenth pole to capture the Grade 2, $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap on Saturday night.

Trained by New York-based Barclay Tagg and ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Dry Martini was the second choice in the Iowa Festival of Racing’s biggest race, and paid $7.20 to win. Trujillo won his second consecutive Cornhusker, following his victory on Siphon City last year.

Jonesboro set a reasonable pace, getting the half in 48.51 seconds and six furlongs in 1:12.53. Silent Pleasure took the lead at the top of the stretch but Dry Martini was already rolling from the back of the field. Dry Martini took the lead late and drew off for a 1 3/4-length win in 1:48.41 for the mile and one-eighth. The favorite, Patriot Act, finished third.

Dry Martini, owned by George and Carol Nyren, has now won three races in a row, and the $180,000 winners share boosts his lifetime earnings to $439,495.

Brownie Points wins Distaff

It had been over a year since Brownie Points had won a race on the dirt, but she hung on gamely to win the $125,000 Iowa Distaff. Plaid made a run at the winner late, but could get no closer than three-quarters of a length while finishing second. Dynabin, at 49-1 the longest shot in the field, closed for third. Leah’s Secret, the 3-5 favorite, finished a disappointing fifth in the field of six.

Brownie Points settled nicely in second behind pacesetting Turbulent Thinking for Luis Quinonez in the 1 1/16-mile race. She seized command just before entering the stretch, then dug in for the victory in 1:43.84. She paid $9 to win as the second choice.

"I figured since my little brother won a festival race last night, that we needed to crank it up tonight, and that's just what she did," joked winning trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel after the race.

Von Heme'ls brother, Kelly, won the $100,000 Saylorville Friday night with Miss Macy Sue.

Brownie Points is owned by Pin Oak Stable.

Benny the Bull sharp

Many thought Benny the Bull's last race at Churchill was a fluke. He’d never run a 111 Beyer figure or 1:07.66 for six furlongs before. But the son of Lucky Lionel proved them wrong, as he uncorked a big rally to win the $125,000 Iowa Sprint in 1:08.48. He returned $10 for the win.

Jockey Mark Guidry sat off the 44-second opening half-mile before beginning his dominating stretch run. The even-money favorite, Cougar Cat took the lead midway through the stretch, but was no match for the winner. Cougar Cat did hang on for second, while 16-1 longshot Kingsfield closed for third.

The Iowa Festival of Racing wraps up Monday with the Prairie Gold Juvenile and Prairie Gold Lassie for 2-year olds.