07/23/2003 11:00PM

Prairie: Coalpepper one to beat

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ALTOONA, Iowa - Coalpepper heads a wide-open field of nine, including an entry, in the $50,000 added Iowa Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds at Prairie Meadows.

Coalpepper, a rapidly improving gelding trained by Dave McShane, rallied strongly through the stretch to finish second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in an entry-level allowance at Saturday's mile and 70-yard distance in his most recent start here July 4.

Coalpepper won his maiden in his fourth career start when he tried two turns for the first time, drawing off to a 5 1/2-length score after stalking the pace to the stretch here on June 3.

Overall, Coalpepper sports a record of 1-2-1 from six starts. Cindy Noll, who has ridden Coalpepper in all of his starts, will be back aboard. Coalpepper will carry co-high weight of 120 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Stallion Stakes.

Hopeful Affair is one of trainer Kelly Von Hemel's three starters in the Stallion Stakes. All figure to have a say in the outcome and will run uncoupled due to separate ownership.

Hopeful Affair has won 2 of 7 career starts and figures to be prominent throughout under jockey R.D. Williams.

Von Hemel's other starters are Okie Commotion, who ships in from Texas and is winless in five starts this year, and the filly Perfect Moment, who is the only stakes winner in the field. She won the Canterbury Oaks last out on June 21. Perry Compton rides.

Trainer Dick Clark also starts three in the Stallion Stakes - the Mohawk Stable entry of Cmego and Amberall, and the uncoupled J.B. the Vet. Cmego looks the best of the Clark trio. Glenn Corbett has the call aboard Cmego, a winner of 2 of his 13 career starts.