08/16/2001 12:00AM

Horrible Evening is class of Prairie Derby


ALTOONA, Iowa - Horrible Evening, who finished fourth in the Grade 3 Round Table at Arlington last time out, heads a field of seven in Saturday's $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby at 1 1/8 miles.

Horrible Evening has been facing the toughest competition of those in the race. He was beaten 6 1/4 lengths by Discreet Hero in the Round Table at Arlington. Previously, he finished third in a $100,000 handicap at Churchill Downs. Trained by Niall O'Callaghan, Horrible Evening has never won a stakes, but he did finish third, beaten just a length, in the Grade 3 What a Pleasure Stakes at Calder last December. Horrible Evening sports a record of 3-1-4 from 12 starts and has earned for $103,572. Ray Sibille will be in from Chicago to ride Horrible Evening for owner Morton Fink.

Beehay looms the main threat in the Prairie Meadows Derby. In his last start, Beehay scored a front-running neck victory at 17-1 in the 1 1/16-mile Colorado Derby. The victory was Beehay's fourth in seven starts since winning his maiden in a $7,500 claiming race at Sunland Park in January.

C. M. Dyer trains Beehay, a son of Haymarket, for owner John Bridwell. Don Howard has the call on Beehay, who is co-highweighted with Horrible Evening at 117 pounds.