05/24/2012 1:39PM

Prairie Meadows: Cornhusker prep comes up tough


ALTOONA, Iowa – Saturday evening’s $60,000 Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile tuneup for the Grade 3, $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, pits the last two winners of the Rasmussen, Red Lead and Stachys, against the 2010 Cornhusker champ Shadowbdancing.

In the competitive field of eight, Shadowbdancing, a winner of $384,500 in his 10 lifetime races here, tries to revisit past glory. Most recently, the Montbrook-sired 7-year-old horse finished third in the $75,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes on April 28. The Rasmussen will be his third start of the season.

Red Lead, trained locally by Chris Hartman, gives his best try every time out and, following a series of sharp breezes over this surface, looks set to rebound from a troubled trip when fourth in the Sunland Park Handicap. The Mike Biehler-trained Stachys, also training forwardly here, gets some class relief after chasing home rising star Alternation when fifth, beaten just 4  1/4 lengths, in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.

Rasmussen favoritism is likely to go to It Happened Again. Although unsuccessful here in two tries, the 6-year-old gelding took the $138,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Fair Grounds last December and races for the high percentage connections of owner Maggi Moss, trainer Chris Richard, and jockey Terry Thompson.

Venturing in from Chicago with Shadowbdancing is P D Q Kiddo, 2 for 2 at Hawthorne in 2012. Prospect Knight, a rallying 3 1/4-length winner of an April 28 optional claiming race in his Prairie Meadows debut, should also be competitive.

Steve Asmussen, the former conditioner of It Happened Again, has sent Omniscient up from Lone Star Park and the 6-year-old Pulpit-sired horse will try to rebound from a disinterested seventh in the Grade  3 Texas Mile.

The Rasmussen has a scheduled post time of 9:37 p.m. Central.

Wild Rose looks like two-horse race

The co-featured $60,000 Wild Rose, a 1 1/16-mile race which attracted five fillies and mares, has the look of a match race between first time Altoona visitors Sterling Madame and Another World.

Tactical speed may provide an advantage for the Tom Amoss-trained Sterling Madame, who switches back to a dirt surface after a decent try when fourth in a Keeneland allowance race over Polytrack.

Another World, conditioned by Donnie K. Von Hemel, showed her determination when running down 2011 Wild Rose champ Remit for a narrow head victory in Oaklawn Park’s $100,000 Redbud Stakes.