07/19/2012 12:56PM

Prairie Meadows: Evenly matched field for pair of 2-year-old stakes


ALTOONA, Iowa – Prairie Meadows stages a pair of 2-year-old stakes on Saturday night, the $75,000 Prairie Gold Lassie for fillies and the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile, which drew eight colts and geldings. With both races contested at 5 1/2 furlongs, talented shippers from Kentucky, Illinois, and Minnesota aim to measure their talent against some strong locally based runners.

The Prairie Gold Lassie is headed by Churchill shippers Pine Ridge and Quiet Success. Pine Ridge put forth a good display of speed when winning a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race July 1 over the highly regarded Indian Clarkie. Her trainer, Dan McFarlane, who won last year’s Lassie with Page Springs, hopes Pine Ridge can carry her quickness an extra furlong.

Quiet Success, conditioned by Tom Amoss, proved her mettle against stakes company when rallying for second behind Blueeyesintherein in Churchill’s Grade 3 Debutante Stakes on June 23. Her regular rider, Miguel Mena, retains the mount.

The competitive field of seven also includes Canterbury Park-based Dancing Elliebelle and Mountain Kitty, who each controlled the front end in their maiden win. In her second start, Dancing Elliebelle was overmatched in a duel when sixth in the Debutante at Churchill. Mountain Kitty was unchallenged when an 8 1/2-length winner in her June 30 Canterbury debut.

American Sugar looks best of the local contingent as she showed the ability to finish strongly in both of her starts, including a 3 3/4-length tally in a June 17 maiden race.

Churchill maiden winner My Daughter’s Song and local speedster Sheila Tequila, both trained by Allen Milligan, also both have a chance.

◗ The Prairie Gold Juvenile has a wide-open feel but the once-raced Mylute, who was supplemented for $15,000, and the Arlington shipper Stormin Monarcho deserve particular attention.

Mylute, from the first crop of champion sprinter Midnight Lute, finished third behind next-out Grade 3 stakes winner Circle Unbroken in a Churchill maiden race on June 17. Stormin Monarcho closed determinedly to take a June 9 maiden race over Arlington’s Polytrack by three-quarters of a length.

Mr. Jawbreaker, trained by this meet’s leading trainer, Chris Richard, cruised by 5 1/2 lengths when winning his maiden here July 5, and the Ontario-bred gelded son of Candy Ride clearly has ability.

Trainer Mike Biehler sends the speedy Franz down from his Canterbury Park base after he proved too much for four rivals when winning his June 17 career debut by 3 1/2 lengths.

The Iowa-bred pair of Zeki and Senor Captain fit nicely in this group, and Indiana Downs maiden winner Go Jack Go also cannot be ignored.

The stakes are carded as the seventh and eighth races on Saturday evening, with the Prairie Gold Lassie scheduled to go at 9:11 p.m. Central.