08/26/2010 1:59PM

Hardy loaded for Distaff Challenge at Prairie Meadows


ALTOONA, Iowa – Prairie Meadows hosts a second night of Quarter Horse Challenge races on Saturday. The three stakes are qualifiers for the 2010 Challenge Championships to be held Nov. 20 at Fair Grounds.

In the $27,270 Merial Distaff Challenge, nine fillies and mares will sprint 400 yards. Ed Ross Hardy sends out four fresh entrants. “Pretty much we’ve been prepping for this,” said Hardy.

“When your talking about 30 days or 45 days thats just magic for a Quarter Horse. You can get them fresh, put a little more weight on them, tend to some of their needs. Not all, but most Quarter Horses, if they have 45 days off, that’s just the best medicine.”

Hardy’s Coeur D Alene is coming off a third-place effort in a Challenge race at Sam Houston on July 10. “She just ran in too many races down there,” said Hardy.

Stablemate Fittin to Fly should improve with a better break. She last ran fourth in the Miss Polly Classic at Delta Downs. “She was on the outside, and she just didn’t get a good break,” said Hardy. “She came running pretty hard at the end.”

In the $66,870 Bank of America Championship Challenge, a field of nine will race 440 yards. The two mares in the race seem to have the edge. Xo Kate exits a second-place finish in the Championship Challenge at Sam Houston. Feature Jess Rockin is coming off a good effort in the Decketta Handicap at Remington. She finished a neck behind Spit Curl Diva, whoput in the first of three track-record breaking performances at the meet.

In the $33,030 Andequan Derby Challenge, Acorn takes on eight others. Acorn is coming off an easy victory in the Sam Houston Derby. He will take on Regal Rockn, who is looking to find his form of last year when he won six races in a row, including two graded stakes.

The card also includes the $30,000 Iowa Stallion Derby at 400 yards. Last year’s Iowa Stallion futurity winner, Yawls Flashem Open, is part of a field of 11.