06/06/2013 3:13PM

Prairie Meadows: Cyclones three-peat no easy assignment for Cainam


Cainam, the two-time defending champion of the Cyclones Handicap, faces a formidable challenge Saturday night when he tries for a third straight win in the 1 1/16-mile event for Iowa-breds.

Since resurfacing this season in Jon Arnett’s stable, the late-rallying Cainam has gone winless in three tries. Most recently, Cainam, now 6, and jockey Glenn Corbett, his partner in 29 of his 31 lifetime starts, trailed throughout when a well-beaten fifth in a mile and 70-yard allowance test versus open company.

Kate’s Main Man, the 2010 Cyclones winner in a stakes record time of 1:42.84, retains his good tactical speed at age 8. He has been freshened by Randy Morse since running second, beaten one length by Nebraska-bred star Diamond Joe, in Fonner Park’s $84,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes on April 27. Jockey Alex Birzer, who leads the standings in purse money earned here this season with $810,645 through 27 dates, has the assignment.

Wings of War, a 6-year old Don Von Hemel trainee, returned to his best form when surging late to take the six-furlong John Wayne Stakes by a half-length under Shane Laviolette on May 11. Laviolette enters Thursday’s card with 1,997 lifetime wins. Wings of War and Laviolette finished second in last year’s Cyclones, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Cainam.

Leading trainer Chris Richard sends out a pair of legitimate contenders in Ice Hockey and Freeze Your Kela. Ice Hockey, who has five straight second-place finishes dating back to June 29, 2012, seeks to turn the tables on Wings of War, who had his measure in the John Wayne.

Freeze Your Kela makes his 2013 debut but won last season’s six-furlong Gray’s Lake Stakes while going 2 for 5 with three seconds here.

Larrys Lost Legend fired a career best when charging home to take an Iowa-bred allowance route by 1 1/2 lengths on May 16 over fellow Cyclones entrant Beware the Devil. He is trained by John Hall, who is 7 for 22 this meet.