05/31/2006 11:00PM

Platinum Ballet returns to Prairie Meadows


Platinum Ballet heads a field of six fillies and mares entered in Saturday's $50,000 Wild Rose Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Platinum Ballet takes a class drop in the 1 1/16-mile Wild Rose, having faced graded- stakes company in each of her last three starts. Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, Platinum Ballet earned a check in all three of those races. She finished third in the Grade 3 Azeri Breeders' Cup in March, then fourth in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap in April, both at Oaklawn Park. In her most recent start, Platinum Ballet finished third in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne on April 22.

Platinum Ballet is proven over the Prairie Meadows strip, having scored her biggest win here last July in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Breeders' Cup. She also finished third, beaten less than a length, as the odds-on favorite in the Wild Rose last year.

Whimsy, trained by Mike Stidham, captured 5 of her first 6 starts, culminating with her 2 3/4-length score in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows last July 1. Whimsy, however, has gone winless in four starts since that race and most recently finished fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths, in a one-mile allowance at Arlington Park on May 14.

Iowa-bred Gamblers Passion, trained by Joel Campbell, enters the Wild Rose off a stakes win against statebreds at Prairie Meadows going six furlongs on May 13. Trained by Gene Jacquot, Gamblers Passion finished second by a neck in this race last year.

River Downs: Showdown on turf

Tri Uimet and Dooze are unquestionably two of the best Ohio-bred 3-year-olds around. Which of the two is better will be decided at River Downs in the $50,000 Green Carpet Stakes.

Both Tri Uimet and Dooze enter the Green Carpet off two dominating sprint wins. Tri Uimet captured a pair of allowances at Thistledown by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths, while Dooze's two wins at Beulah Park, including the Noonan Stakes, were by a combined margin of more than 21 lengths.

Tri Uimet defeated Dooze last year in their only prior meeting, a first-level allowance at Mountaineer, but Dooze's Beyer Speed Figure of 94 for his Noonan victory suggests the gap has likely narrowed significantly.

From a pedigree standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Green Carpet should not present a problem for either one. Tri Uimet is by Lac Ouimet, and Dooze is by Anees. The unknown, however, is the surface: turf. Neither of them has tried the grass, though Dooze, a grandson of Australian champion Strawberry Road, might have an edge in that regard. Few of the others in the Green Carpet field have tried the turf.

Another entrant likely to attract strong support in the Green Carpet is Chicago invader Not Broke Yet, a recent three-length winner of an open maiden race at Arlington going nine furlongs. Not Broke Yet finished a distant fifth in his only turf attempt, his second career start, but seems a much better horse now.

- Vance Hanson

Lone Star: Stalwartly gets pace to run at

Stalwartly, a half-brother to 2002 champion sprinter Orientate, should get a favorable pace setup in the $40,000 Nevill/Kyocera for 3-year-olds at Lone Star Park near Dallas.

The six-furlong race, restricted to those who have not won a stakes in 2006, drew an evenly matched field of eight.

Stalwartly will be making his stakes debut in the Nevill/Kyocera. He invades from Kentucky, where in his last start he was fourth to wire-to-wire winner El Nino in a first-level allowance over seven furlongs April 28. Before that race, Stalwartly rallied for second by a half-length in a six-furlong optional claimer at Oaklawn Park.

Stalwartly figures to be coming in the later stages, with quick horses like Corredor de Plata, Castles in the Sky, Southern Humor and Katelyn's Pride expected to make for strong fractions up front in the Nevill/Kyocera.

Stalwartly, trained by Steve Asmussen, is a son of Gone West out of the mare Dream Team, who also produced Orientate, a winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint who earned $1.7 million.

Asmussen will also start Don't Tell Mommy, who has also done some of his best running from off the pace. He won the $40,000 Pioneer Stakes last year at 2, when he rallied from sixth. The Asmussen colts race as separate interests.

- Mary Rampellini

Canterbury: Katy Smiles heads Hoist Her Flag

A competitive field of nine fillies and mares were entered in the $40,000 Hoist Her Flag Stakes at Canterbury Park.

Katy Smiles is the probable favorite in the Hoist Her Flag. Trained by David Van Winkle, Katy Smiles has won 4 of 6 starts at Canterbury Park, with her last victory there coming in the Dean Kutz Stakes last August. Now 4, Katy Smiles came here from Turf Paradise, where she won an optional claiming event and just missed in her most recent start, the Cactus Flower Handicap, losing a neck decision to the formidable Muir Beach. Her three works since that April race suggest Katy Smiles has lost none of her sharpness for this-six furlong contest.

Ells Editor provided the Cinderella story of the 2005 Canterbury meeting when she prevailed in the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper at 12-1. Claimed for $10,000 in 2004 by trainer Percy Scherbenske, Ells Editor finished second in the Dean Kutz behind Katy Smiles. Given a winter break, Ells Editor closed well in an allowance contest at Arlington to finish second by a length.

Silver Fortune, trained by Ray Tracy, has the credentials to be a factor after finishing a fast-closing second in the Prairie Rose Stakes at Prairie Meadows in her last start.

Galactic Cat finished third in the Cactus Flower Handicap in her last start and has been transferred to the Mike Stidham barn by owner Robert Bone. A stakes-placed daughter of Forest Wildcat, she should not go overlooked in the Hoist Her Flag.

- David M. Miller

Louisiana Downs: Random Gold tries a stakes

Random Gold is in the best form of his career, and he will make his stakes debut against Venomous in the $50,000 Kings Court at Louisiana Downs.

The six-furlong race drew seven sprinters, including Grand Bank and That Tat, who finished eighth in a turf sprint stakes at Lone Star last Sunday.

Random Gold established himself as the one to beat with a 3 1/2-length win in an optional claiming race at Lone Star Park on May 10. It was his third win in his last five starts, and since the race he has been flattered. War Bridle, who finished third, returned in his next start to win a six-furlong optional claimer in 1:10.20.

Claimed for $25,000 at Oaklawn in April 2005 by trainer Cole Norman, Random Gold has won 2 of 3 starts at Louisiana Downs.

Venomous is returning to Louisiana Downs, where he has finished first or second in 7 of his 8 starts. He was second last out in a six-furlong optional claimer that went in a quick 1:09.60.

- Mary Rampellini

Lincoln: Look for hot pace in Bluegrass

There should be no shortage of speed when a field of six fillies and mares match up at six furlongs for the $15,000 Bluegrass Handicap at the Lincoln State Fair in Nebraska.

Up 'n Blumin, Missy Can Do, and Nikki Nine, all stakes winners over the track, will meet for the first time.

Up 'n Blumin is a two-time stakes winner this year at Fonner Park, Missy Can Do is the two-time defending champion of the Bluegrass, while 3-year-old Nikki Nine will take on older off a gutsy win in the Princess Stakes at Lincoln on May 14. The three have all been at their best on the front end and should provide a lively pace from the start.

Missy Can Do, winner of the Bold Accent Stakes at Fonner Park early this year, has made her last two starts at Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma, with a third and a fourth against open allowance company.

Up 'n Blumin captured the Al Swihart Stakes on closing day at Fonner Park and won the Orphan Kist there against statebreds.

Nikki Nine registered a pair of stakes wins at Fonner, taking the Bachman Stakes against males and the Pepsi Stakes against her own sex. She then set the pace in the Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows on April 21 before fading to fifth. She rebounded with her Princess score on May 14.

- Bill Hodtwalker