Updated on 09/15/2011 12:34PM

No one can catch Touch Tone


ALTOONA, Iowa - Touch Tone set the pace and then drew off through the stretch under Robby Albarado to score an impressive 7 1/4-length victory over Buckle Down Ben in the 1 1/16-mile, $250,000 Iowa Derby Friday night at Prairie Meadows.

Albarado and Touch Tone made the lead from the inside post soon after the start and ran a half-mile in 46.12 seconds without pressure.

Compendium and jockey Donnie Meche mounted a challenge approaching the stretch but Touch Tone put him away without being asked and widened his advantage to the wire while being kept under pressure through the final three-sixteenths. Touch Tone ($5.40) covered the distance in a brisk 1:42.67.

Buckle Down Ben, the first horse D. Wayne Lukas has ever run at this track, raced three wide on the final turn and was up for the distant place spot by a neck over 9-5 second choice Drewman, who was ridden by Pat Day. Compendium finished fourth.

The Iowa Derby was Touch Tone's first try around two turns and trainer Ronnie Werner was not sure how the colt would handle the added distance. Those concerns have seemingly now been erased.

The victory was Touch Tone's third in four career starts, with his only defeat coming against graded stakes company in the Riva Ridge at Belmont in his last start. The $150,000 winner's share of the purse sent Touch Tone's career earnings to $252,850 for owner Tom Durant.

Royal Fair takes Distaff

Royal Fair ($3.20) rallied through the stretch to collar pacesetting Please Sign In and scored a

1 1/4-length victory in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff on Friday night.

Under patient handling from Day, Royal Fair bided her time while saving ground in midpack to the second turn. Day angled the 5-year-old Royal Fair out approaching the stretch and she responded to an aggressive hand ride to take the lead in the final 100 yards while running 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.43.

Please Sign In was 5 1/2 lengths clear of Frankly My Dear in second.

Royal Fair won for the fourth time in 20 career starts for trainer Rusty Arnold and owner G. Watts Humphrey. Her career earnings are now in excess of $360,000.