08/25/2004 11:00PM

Past champs return on all-Iowa card


ALTOONA, Iowa - On Saturday, Prairie Meadows will hold the 11th annual Iowa Classic Night, an all-stakes program consisting of 10 races for Iowa-breds.

Iowa Classic Night includes six races for Thoroughbreds, with combined purses of more than $425,000, and four for Quarter Horses. The Thoroughbred races are the first six on the card.

The $75,000-added Ralph Hayes for colts and geldings, 4 and up, is the top race on Iowa Classic Night. The 1 1/16-mile Hayes drew a full field of 12, headed by two-time defending champion Take Me Up and the rapidly improving Rubianos Image.

Take Me Up, a 6-year-old gelding, was upset by Rubianos Image in the 1 1/16-mile Cyclones here June 19, losing by 1 3/4 lengths. Take Me Up defeated open allowance company in his next start before finishing sixth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths, in the 1 1/8-mile Prairie Meadows Handicap on July 31.

Take Me Up, who does his best running from well off the pace, has a career record of 11-8-3 from 27 starts, good for $545,323 in earnings for owner-breeder River Ridge Ranch. Trainer Paul Pearson will give Tim Doocy a leg up on Saturday. Doocy will attempt to become the third different rider to win the Hayes aboard Take Me Up, following Luis Quinonez and Perry Compton.

Rubianos Image has won two of three starts since being stretched out around two turns by trainer Jim Arnett in the Cyclones. Rubianos Image, a 4-year-old gelding, also exits the Prairie Meadows Handicap, in which he rallied along the rail to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. Carlos Silva picks up the mount on Rubianos Image from jockey Luis Ranilla, who was injured here in a gate incident last Saturday.

Both Take Me Up and Rubianos Image should benefit from a fast early pace as Lord Alexander, Royalty of Iowa, and Canaverous figure to show speed stretching out.

Donna Reed: Sharky's Review seeks three-peat

Two-time defending champion Sharky's Review heads a field of six entered in the $75,000-added Donna Reed for older fillies and mares.

Sharky's Review, a 6-year-old, is the all-time leading Iowa-bred female money earner, with $676,013 in career earnings and 15 wins from 33 career starts for trainer Mark Bader.

Perry Compton will ride Sharky's Review, who starts as the 122-pound highweight under the allowance conditions of the mile and 70-yard Donna Reed.

The main threats are multiple stakes winner One Fine Shweetie and O U Bet, who finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in last year's Reed.

Sorority: Pearson has three of eight runners

The $65,000-added Iowa Sorority for 2-year-old fillies kicks off Iowa Classic Night. Bobs Beauty, part of a three-horse Paul Pearson-trained entry, heads an eight-horse field.

Bobs Beauty defeated open male rivals for her second straight win in her most recent start on July 24. Perry Compton has a return call in the six-furlong Sorority.

Other leading contenders in the Sorority include stakes winner Lordslegacy, late-running Queansco, and impressive maiden winner Raiderette.

Cradle: Five Rubies gets first Lasix

Five Rubies takes on Boxer and Mingo Mohawk in the $65,000-added Iowa Cradle Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings at six furlongs.

Five Rubies is the only two-time winner entered in the Cradle. He rallied to defeat open allowance company here Aug. 10. Five Rubies, a son of Rubiano, races on Lasix for the first time Saturday. He is trained by Jim Arnett. Apprentice Channing Hill, who has ridden Five Rubies in all four of his starts, has a return call.

Boxer dueled for the lead before dropping a half-length decision in the Iowa Stallion Futurity here two weeks ago. Mingo Mohawk rallied to finish fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths, in the Stallion Futurity as the even-money favorite for trainer Dick Clark.

Breeders' Oaks: Ebony Lady seeks 4th straight

Ebony Lady goes for her fourth straight win in the $65,000-added Iowa Breeders' Oaks at a mile and 70 yards. Nine 3-year-old fillies were entered.

Ebony Lady, trained by Mike Natale, tries two turns for the first time. Ebony Lady figures to be on the early pace under James Lopez from her rail draw, but an abundance of early speed figures to make it difficult for her to go wire to wire.

Butter Crunch is the upset selection in the Oaks. Trained by Fred Falldorf, Butter Crunch finished third, beaten 6 1/2 lengths, behind Ebony Lady going six furlongs in her last start, but has already won around two turns and adds Lasix for the first time Saturday.

This One for Abbey is the only four-time winner entered in the Oaks.

Breeders' Derby: Wild Wild West favored

Wild Wild West figures to be a heavy favorite in a field of 11 3-year-old colts and geldings in the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Breeders' Derby.

Wild Wild West has never finished worse than second in nine career starts. Kelly Von Hemel trains Wild Wild West for his owner-breeder, William Hobbs.