09/07/2006 12:00AM

More Than Regal back for more


ALTOONA, Iowa - More Than Regal, the Iowa Derby winner, returns to the scene of his biggest career score when he heads a field of nine in Saturday night's $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby at 1 1/16 miles, the closing-night feature of the 36-day mixed meeting here.

More Than Regal scored his biggest win when he rallied for a half-length score in the $250,000 Iowa Derby going 1 1/16 miles here on June 30. Steve Asmussen trained More Than Regal when he recorded his Iowa Derby victory, but Scott Blasi has taken over while Asmussen serves a suspension.

Following his win here, More Than Regal rallied to finish third in the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 6 and most recently finished seventh following a troubled trip in the St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park two weeks ago.

Overall, More Than Regal sports a career record of 3-2-2 from 12 starts, good for $348,931 in earnings, highest in the derby field. Tim Doocy will be in to ride More Than Regal, who figures to benefit from an expected quick early pace on Saturday.

The rapidly improving Off Duty is a major threat in the derby as he goes for his fourth straight win. In his most recent start, Off Duty dueled throughout and scored a 1 1/2-length victory in the seven-furlong Forward Pass at Arlington Park on Aug. 12. Larry Melancon picks up the mount aboard Off Duty for trainer Lynn Whiting.

Star by Design, trained by Richard Hazleton, added blinkers in his last start and responded with an easy 9 1/2-length win over allowance company going seven furlongs at Arlington Park on Aug. 11. Carlos Silva has a return call on Saturday aboard Star by Design, who could set the pace in the derby.

Oaks: Southern Flu faces six in stakes bid

Southern Flu goes for her first stakes victory in Saturday's co-feature, the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks at 1 1/16 miles, when she squares off against six rivals.

Southern Flu, trained by Ian Wilkes, comes in from Saratoga, where she rallied to finish second, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, against older allowance rivals going 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 10.

Larry Melancon picks up the mount aboard Southern Flu, who figures to work out a stalking trip on Saturday.

Dyna Slam, trained by Blasi, will be stretching out around two turns for the first time after scoring back-to-back allowance victories over Illinois-breds at a one-turn mile at Arlington Park.

Overall, Dyna Slam has a career record of 3-1-0 from 6 starts. Tim Doocy will ride Dyna Slam for owner Cash Asmussen in the Oaks.

Iowa-bred Dixie Kate, trained by Judi Hicklin, is the lone stakes winner entered in the Oaks, with a three-quarter-length Iowa Breeders' Oaks victory here going a mile and 70 yards here two weeks ago. That race was Dixie Kate's first try around two turns, and she rated nicely off the dueling leaders before rallying through the stretch to score her fourth career win from six starts. Carlos Montalvo has a return call aboard Dixie Kate on Saturday.