07/03/2013 1:19PM

Prairie Meadows: Iowa Stallion Futurity offers few clues to handicappers


ALTOONA, Iowa – Friday’s $60,000 Iowa Stallion Futurity at Prairie Meadows provides a golden opportunity for 12 nominated and still-eligible 2-year-olds to scoop a big prize in their nascent careers.

With 10 combined lifetime starts amongst them, the Futurity field presents a handicapping challenge for those inclined to assess precocity and workout patterns.

Chris Richard, the meet’s leading trainer with 42 winners from 148 starters, sends over four of his 2-year-olds, including a three-horse entry for Minnesota-based breeder-owners Richard Bremer and Cheryl Sprick. The same connections won last year’s 5 1/2-furlong Futurity with Bet Your Boots.

The Bremer and Sprick trio of Bet Your Socks, Granite Ridge, and Sundance all have the benefit of a career start and are eligible to improve for Richard, who has a 26 percent strike rate with second-start maidens. Richard will also lead over first-time starter Boji Moon, a Cactus Ridge colt who has shown plenty of speed in his drills, including a 47.29-second four-furlong bullet move from the gate last Sunday.

Trainer Lynn Chleborad, winner of this race in 2011 with the Iowa-bred Beware the Devil, will try again with the Iowa-bred Dunnam and the Oklahoma-bred Sweet Nealie. Dunnam was beaten just a head in his June 20 bow by Ooey Gooey, while Sweet Nealie showed late interest when fourth, four lengths behind Miss Cookie Town and another capable Futurity rival, Mama’s Mad Money.

Kaptain Kujo, conditioned by Jon Arnett, is the field’s only winner. He rallied to beat nine Iowa-breds by a half-length on June 15.

Jockie Gold, a debutante and one of five fillies in the lineup, has breezed in eye-catching fashion for trainer Greg Zielinski. Last Friday, Jockie Gold, a daughter of Giacomo, impressed when going four furlongs from the gate in a bullet 47 seconds flat.

The Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained firster Bendeano, Will Rogers shipper Billy Diamond, and the twice-placed Holy Missile are also entered.

The Iowa Stallion Futurity has a scheduled post time of 9:37 p.m. Central.