04/19/2012 8:13PM

Prairie Meadows: Alsvid fresh for Golden Circle


ALTOONA, Iowa - The $60,000 Golden Circle Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old colts and geldings, highlights the first Saturday of the 2012 Thoroughbred meet at Prairie Meadows.
Despite the small field of five, the Golden Circle shapes up as an intriguing showdown among the precocious pair of Alsvid and Twelve Hundred as well as Heir to Dixie, Whiskey Double and Wildcat Country, who are all improving.
Alsvid, a speedy Officer colt trained by Chris Hartman, worked well over this surface last season as an unraced juvenile and went on to win three races, including Remington's $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes. Last out on Dec. 30 he was brushed aside by eventual Sunland Derby second Isn't He Clever in the $100,000 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland, but he appears fresh and sharp for his 2012 debut.
The speedy Twelve Hundred, victorious in the $60,000 Prairie Juvenile Mile last August, returns from Chicago for trainer Jim DiVito.
Wildcat Country, who was claimed for $15,000 by trainer Randy Morse out of an Oaklawn maiden race, also possesses speed and is fit after a pair of good efforts in Oaklawn starter allowances.
Heir to Dixie ran well in an April 1 Hawthorne allowance sprint when third, beaten a head by Twelve Hundred for second, and ventures in from his Chicago base for conditioner Joel Berndt.
The field is rounded out by Whiskey Double, also a former $15,000 claimer, who despite being a notch below these on form may be the field's lone closer.