07/14/2010 5:23PM

Launch Light Lady takes on boys

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ALTOONA, Iowa – Fans will get a glimpse at the future of Iowa racing in Friday’s Iowa Stallion Futurity to be contested at a 5 1/2 furlongs. The seven entrants are progeny of stallions that donated shares to the Iowa Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association stallion service auction. The futurity has a purse of $60,000, but with all starters being eligible for the Iowa-bred supplement, the race will be worth $81,840.

Launch Light Lady, a full sister to stakes winners Launch Light Girl and Launch Light, enters as the 8-5 morning-line favorite.

“We’ve liked her since Day 1, she’s a very intelligent filly,” trainer Kelly Von Hemel said. “Everything she’s done that we’ve asked her, she’s done perfectly.”

The 2-year old filly by Bright Launch will be facing boys, but is the only entrant in the field to have scored a maiden victory.

“If you are ever going to run against the boys, the 2-year-old year is the time to do it,” Von Hemel said. “Fillies mature faster than boys, and this is the time of year to do it.”

Launch Light Lady won her maiden last out when she defeated open-company maidens by an expanding 1 1/4 lengths. Von Hemel indicated that his charge came out the race in great shape and is ready to get back to the track.

The Lynn Chleborad-trainee See Me Now appears to be the challenger most likely to defeat the filly. See Me Now finished third in his first out, when he faced Iowa-bred maidens at 4 1/2 furlongs. He has a license to improve off his first race. Chleborad wins 22 percent of the time with second-time starters, compared with just 3 percent of the time with first-time starters.

◗ Owner Jim Leech’s Cainam will be trying for his fourth win at the meet when he takes on a salty field of seven in an optional claiming race. The 3-year-old has won three races from four starts at the meet, including the Grays Lake. He is trying open company for the first time this meet in preparation for Iowa Classic Night. He faces a field of seven, including Slewzoom, runner-up in the Prairie Mile; and Lemon Custard, winner of more than $240,000. A victory would break the six-way tie for most wins by a horse at the meet.