06/24/2010 12:00AM

Euphony out to defend Iowa Distaff title


ALTOONA, Iowa - The $100,000 Iowa Distaff and the $100,000 Saylorville are the supporting features Friday on the first day of the Iowa Festival of Racing at Prairie Meadows.

The Iowa Distaff, a race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, originally drew a field of six but will go with five after the defection of Subprime. "We decided not to bring her, I think we may send her to Monmouth." said trainer Tony Dutrow.

Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel has no reservations about where to run Euphony.

"It was an easy choice for her; she won this race last year," Von Hemel said. "She won a stake at Prairie Meadows as a 3 year old. She's two for two at the track."

Euphony, now 5, is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron.

"She put in a good effort," Von Hemel said. "The winner, Tizaqueena, is good mare and got a lead on a slow pace. She was pretty tough to run down."

Choragus enters the race off a length victory in the Wild Rose at Prairie.

"That race gave us the confidence to come back and enter her here," said trainer Chris Block.

Block did not seem to be concerned with how the race might set up for his mare.

"I think you place her where you want," he said. "She can come from off the pace or stalk and pressure the pace."

Patti's Regal Song has steadily improved since making her first career start last October. She closed well in the Prairie Rose, where she finished second to Choragus by a length. She has turned in a bullet workout at four furlongs in preparation for this race.

Saylorville: Mindy Queen

The Saylorville, a race for older fillies and mares at six furlongs, drew a talented field of seven. Trainer Joel Berdnt summed up the race succinctly: "Anytime you run for 100-K, it's gonna be tough."

Berdnt stressed the versatility of his filly, Mindy Queen, and was pleased she drew an outside post position.

"I really like post 6," he said. "If you get outbroke, you can watch the race develop from the outside. If you are on the rail, you get crossed over and caught up in traffic. She's not one you take back by any means, but she doesn't have to be in front. We can find a spot to let her stalk."

Mindy Queen, a winner of nine of 14 starts, has been training well since returning from a four-month layoff to win the Prairie Rose under steady hand urging by Tanner Riggs.

Among others, Mindy Queen will take on Secret Gypsy, who enters the race off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs. "She's training really, really good," said trainer Ronny Werner. "The other day she finished her work nice and galloped out well."

No Flies On Doodle is coming off three wins at Emerald Downs. She finds herself in this spot because of a combination of circumstances.

"We were coming in for the Claiming Crown at Canterbury," said trainer Vann Belvoir. "Emerald had a mile race for her in July but, it's too close for the Claiming Crown, so we decided to come here."

Other notable contenders in the field include graded stakes winner Palanka City; Miss Heather Lee, runner-up to Blind Luck in the Hollywood Starlet; and Simplify, runner-up in the Valid Expectations at Lone Star.