08/14/2002 11:00PM

O'Callaghan out to strike again


ALTOONA, Iowa - Trainer Niall O'Callaghan will attempt to win a stakes with a shipper for the second straight weekend at Prairie Meadows when he sends out Bold Bluff against Iowa-bred Sharky's Review in the $50,000 Central Iowa Stakes on Saturday night.

Last Saturday, O'Callaghan sent out Woodmoon to an easy victory in the $100,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap. On paper, Bold Bluff looks more imposing than did Woodmoon as she faces six other fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile Central Iowa.

Bold Bluff enters off a third-place finish in a $100,000 optional claiming event at Arlington Park last month. Before that she captured a $75,000 optional claimer at the Chicago track going 6 1/2 furlongs. Overall, Bold Bluff, a 4-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff, has won three of seven starts this year.

Bold Bluff also has experience over the Prairie Meadows surface, having finished second behind Minister's Baby after dueling through grueling fractions in the mile-and-70-yard Diamond Trail Stakes here in May. That performance looks even more impressive now, as Minister's Baby has since gone on to capture the $125,000 Iowa Distaff here and the Grade 3 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park last weekend.

O'Callaghan has given jockey Robby Albarado the call aboard Bold Bluff for owner John McNulty.

Late running Iowa-bred Sharky's Review poses the main threat to Bold Bluff. Sharky's Review was a fast-closing second versus open company here two weeks ago in the Iowa State Fair Stakes at six furlongs.

She has also captured two stakes races against statebreds this year. Sharky's Review sports a record of 7-2-2 from 15 career starts for trainer Mark Bader, good for more than $317,000 in earnings. Regular rider Luis Quinonez has the mount.

Other contenders in the Central Iowa include Above the Harbor, who was claimed for $40,000 out of her last start - which was her fourth straight local victory - and Delray Dew, who captured the Wild Rose Handicap here in June but who has finished off the board in both of her starts since.