06/21/2006 11:00PM

'Gamblers' back with Iowa-breds

Patrick Lang / Lang Photography
Seen Dancing, winning the Gowell Stakes in December, makes her second start on turf Saturday in the Northbound Pride Stakes at Canterbury Park.

Seen Dancing, winning the Gowell Stakes in December, makes her second start on turf Saturday in the Northbound Pride Stakes at Canterbury Park.

Defending champion Gamblers Passion heads a well-matched field of six Iowa-bred fillies and mares in Saturday's $70,000 Hawkeyes Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Prairie Meadows.

Two starts back, Gamblers Passion scored a 2 1/2-length win in the $65,000 Mamie Eisenhower for statebreds at six furlongs, defeating three of the five rivals she will face in the Hawkeyes.

In her most recent start, Gamblers Passion pressed the pace before tiring to finish last of six against open company in the Wild Rose Stakes here June 3. Gamblers Passion figures to revert to a stalking style Saturday, since several of her rivals figure to battle for the early lead.

Gene Jacquot trains Gamblers Passion, a 6-year-old who is 11-5-2 from 32 starts, with career earnings of $258,537. Gamblers Passion will be ridden by Joel Campbell and carry 121 pounds as the starting highweight, conceding from 1 to 7 pounds to her rivals.

Queansco could benefit from a quick early pace Saturday. She captured the Iowa Breeders Oaks here last August and most recently rallied to finish third against open allowance company going a mile and 70 yards here June 1. Tim Doocy has a return call on Queansco, who will carry 117 pounds.

Switch Lanes, the Iowa-bred mare of the year in 2005, looks to get back on track after going winless in her last five starts. Switch Lanes figures to be part of the early pace in the Hawkeyes under her regular rider Glenn Corbett. She will carry 120 pounds on Saturday.

Canterbury: 'Seeking' fifth straight

Seekingthereinbow will put her unbeaten record on the line when she faces nine 3-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Northbound Pride Stakes at Canterbury Park.

A winner of four straight races, Seekingthereinbow was never threatened in her most recent outing, when she led from start to finish to win the Iowa-bred-restricted Bob Bryant Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths. It was her first stakes win.

A grey daughter of Mutakddim, Seekingthereinbow will make her first start on grass and first start around two turns in the Northbound Pride, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. Her trainer, Kelly Von Hemel, brought Perfect Moment to capture the 2004 Northbound Pride in her first try over the grass. Perry Compton will ride Seekingthereinbow.

Trainer Ron Moquett ships Seen Dancing from Churchill Downs to try the Northbound Pride. A winner of the Gowell Stakes at Turfway Park in December, Seen Dancing has been competing in stakes and allowances at Oaklawn and Churchill this season. She won her lone try over the turf, at River Downs in May. Seth Martinez has the call on Seen Dancing.

Dontstealmythunder prepped for the Northbound Pride with an allowance win over older rivals on the Canterbury turf course earlier this month. Paul Nolan retains the mount on Dontstealmythunder, who is trained by Mike Stidham.

Chetten County, a daughter of Giant's Causeway, sparkled in a seven-length maiden win June 2, when she made her first start at Canterbury. She should contend in the Northbound Pride if she can repeat that performance. Nik Goodwin has the return call.

- David M. Miller

Lincoln: Conyers has strong one-two

Trainer Bill Conyers will send out a strong entry of Mr Tire and Thoughtuwasatoad to head a field of eight in the $17,500 State Fair Derby at Lincoln.

The Conyers entry will be countered by two runners from leading trainer David Anderson, who sends out the Alice Mettler-owned entry of Ope and Track Hero.

Mr Tire won his maiden in his first start early in the Fonner Park meet and soon picked up an allowance win at six furlongs. He then won the Baxter Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs. In his lone start at Lincoln, Mr Tire was shuffled back and unable to contest the pace, finishing fifth in the Journal Star Stakes. This will be the first start at a mile for both Mr Tire and Thought-uwasatoad, but they may rate the slight edge in this field.

Ope was an 8 1/2-length winner against entry-level allowance company here May 28, then closed strongly and finished fifth in a six-furlong allowance in his last start. He may be the stronger part of the entry going long. Track Hero gave way after a half-mile in the State Fair Breeders' Stakes here June 10 in his first attempt at a mile. The loss snapped a three-race win streak that included the Journal Star Stakes.

- Bill Hodtwalker

Thistledown: 'Girlish' will be tough

Girlish Giggle rates a slight edge over her 11 Ohio-bred distaff rivals in the fourth running of the $50,000 J. William Petro Memorial Handicap at Thistledown. The race will be decided over 1 1/16 miles.

A 5-year-old owned and trained by W. John Bourke, Girlish Giggle was second in a 1 1/16-mile handicap in her season debut here June 3. Last season, she won 3 of her 4 starts, including a victory in the 1 1/8-mile Rose DeBartolo Memorial last July. She has the tactical speed to be well placed under Tommy Meyers and carries 118 pounds.

The main threats to Girlish Giggle are Imahoneytoo, who carries 119 pounds, and Misty Tab, who beat Girlish Giggle by 1 1/2 lengths in the June 3 handicap. Misty Tab is the 120-pound highweight.

Imahoneytoo won the six-furlong T.F. Classen Memorial in her last start here May 27. She is an Ohio-bred stakes winner going a middle distance and should be a solid factor coming off her sharp sprint effort in the Classen. Scott Spieth, the leading rider at the meet, will ride for trainer Richard Zielinski.

Misty Tab won two Ohio-bred stakes last year and rallied impressively from just off the pace in her victory June 3. She likes to settle into stride before she does her best running.

- Chuck Scaravilli