06/05/2013 1:59PM

Prairie Meadows: Hawkeyes Handicap distance will test Ginger Added

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ALTOONA, Iowa – Ginger Added, already a two-time sprint winner this meet, is the key to Friday night’s $75,000 Hawkeyes Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile event for Iowa-bred fillies and mares.

Ginger Added, the longstanding stable star for trainer Dick Clark, is 7 for 12 lifetime, all at Prairie Meadows, for earnings of $298,871. Throughout her career, she has excelled at sprinting and is just 1 for 4 around two turns.

Ginger Added will face nine rivals intent on exposing her route-race vulnerability, headed by the field’s lone 3-year-old, Cat Five’ O, and the ultra-consistent Queen Lilly Kay,

Cat Five’ O, who ran her best career race last Dec. 9 when winning Remington Park’s one-mile Mistletoe by a nose over Sister Ginger, is primed for a top effort following a pair of sprints over this surface. Most recently, the Clinton Stuart trainee finished a rallying second, 3 1/4 lengths behind the quick Jumped the Harbor, in the Bob Bryant Stakes on May 18.

Queen Lilly Kay has finished second and third to Ginger Added this season, but may fare better against the probable favorite going long. Conditioned by Kelly Von Hemel, Queen Lilly Kay had a three-race win streak around two turns on Remington’s turf course last year and has never been out of the top three in 11 career starts.

Of the others, the Chris Richard-trained entry of Cream of Soup and Lady Ban Shee, both owned by River Ridge Ranch LLC, and Jokes N Jazz, winner of the 2012 Iowa Breeders Oaks for trainer Chris Hartman, are worth consideration.

Richard, the leading trainer this season with a 28-for-92 record through Sunday’s card, removes the blinkers from Cream of Soup, a 4-for-11 mare who has come up short versus stakes competition three times. Lady Ban Shee looks to be improving as she finished a solid second, 3 1/4 lengths behind fellow Hawkeyes entrant Rudy’s Edge, in a May 16 allowance race.

Hartman, who is off to an excellent 15-for-69 start at the meet, is confident that Jokes N Jazz, 2 for 3 in her local route races, will improve in her second start of the year. Her sharp breeze in 47.00 seconds last Friday morning signals her readiness.

Here Comes Polly, the Iowa-bred juvenile filly champ of 2011; Dazzling Pioneer, a $30,000 claim May 18 by trainer Randy Morse; and the deep-closing Jeffell round out the competitive group.