08/30/2009 12:00AM

Kelly Von Hemel wins three on Iowa Classic Night


ALTOONA, Iowa - Trainer Kelly Von Hemel's stable rose to the occasion Saturday night, serving up three winners and other valuable placings on Iowa Classic Night, which featured seven Thoroughbred stakes events restricted to Iowa-breds. On an unseasonably chilly evening, Von Hemel scored with the 2-year-old gelding Launch Light in the $78,000 Iowa Cradle, the 5-year-old gelding Red Hot N Gold in the $85,200 Ralph Hayes, and the 5-year-old gelding Crimson King Cat in the $54,700 Iowa Classic Sprint.

Red Hot N Gold ($2.40 to win) registered a controlled one-length victory under confident handling by leading rider Terry Thompson, pushing the son of Gold Case's career earnings past $500,000. Defending his Ralph Hayes title, Red Hot N Gold stalked and went past the stubborn Dynamic Affair for the second time in the last two runnings of the event. Red Hot N Gold, the current King of Iowa-bred racing, earned $51,120 for owners and breeders Ray and Peggy Shattuck's RPM Thoroughbreds. The Shattucks were recently inducted into the Iowa Racing Hall of Fame. It was Red Hot N Gold's 12th win in 23 tries at Prairie Meadows. He covered the 1 1/16th distance in 1:43.02.

Launch Light ($4.40), a William L. Hobbs-owned homebred son of Bright Launch, took the six-furlong Cradle in a similar fashion. He stalked and pounced defeating the pacesetting Hot Frank Hank by 1 3/4 lengths. The event was marked by the Lynn Chleborad trainee Cainam's ducking into the gap in the early stages, forcing his stable companion Wild for Glory to fall. Wild for Glory and his rider Joel Campbell emerged uninjured. Cainam, who rallied to finish third, was disqualified and placed ninth. Launch Light, ridden by veteran Perry Compton, finished in 1:11.36 and earned $46,800.

Von Hemel capped off his successful evening with a 1-2 finish in the Iowa Classic Sprint. Defending champ Crimson King Cat ($3.80), also piloted by Perry Compton, angled four wide from his inside berth entering the stretch and fended off stablemate Wild L to win by three-quarters of a length. Crimson King Cat, the pride and joy of Scott and Allison Pope's Crimson King Farm, earned $32,820 and ran the six furlongs in a spritely 1:09.38.

In other races, Brenda's Slew ($3.60) won the $77,733 Iowa Sorority earning $46,640 for Dennis and Brenda Bracewell's (homebred) B-Fine LLC by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:13.40 for six furlongs. Brenda's Slew is trained by Judi Hicklin and was ridden by Thompson.

Champagne Attitude ($8.60) won the $77,857 Iowa Breeders' Oaks, earning $46,640 for Gary Lucas and Linda Woods. The homebred scored by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:43.49 for 1 mile, 70 yards. Champagne Attitude is trained by Thad Keller and was ridden by Terry Thompson.

Potanio ($4.40) won the $77,246 Iowa Breeders' Derby, earning $46,360 for Paul Tonderum. Potanio won by 2 lengths in 1:44.15 for 1 1/16th miles. Potano is trained by Paulette Pogue and was ridden by Glenn Corbett.

Beyond the Reach ($11.00) won the $86,300 Donna Reed, earning $51,780 for James R. Leech (homebred) by 1 length in 1:42.33 for 1 mile, 70 yards. Beyond the Reach is trained by Lynn Chleorad and was ridden by Alex Birzer.