05/12/2011 3:30PM

Prairie Meadows: John Wayne looks wide-open with 10 sharp sprinters


The fastest Iowa-bred geldings in training will meet Saturday night in the $70,000 John Wayne Stakes at Prairie Meadows. All 10 entrants appear to have a legitimate chance in the six-furlong sprint.

Collectively, the horses in the John Wayne have won 51 races at Prairie Meadows and show excellent form over this oval.

The edge in recent form could go to the Lynn Chleborad-trained Launch Light, who surged clear of a solid allowance field by seven lengths locally on April 30. A lightly-raced 4-year-old, Launch Light is 3 for 12 lifetime and may have improved significantly for this campaign.

Cainam, another Chleborad trainee and the Iowa-bred champion 3-year-old of 2010, is an honest closer under jockey Glenn Corbett. Cainam appears set for a peak performance in his third start of 2011.

Among the field’s veterans are local favorites Red Hot N Gold, Tiger Lake, and Kate’s Main Man.

Red Hot N Gold, a 12-time winner of $485,192 here, may not be the force of old but he prepped encouragingly with a closing fourth in the allowance prep for the Wayne on April 22.

Kate’s Main Man, a recent arrival from Lone Star Park for trainer Randy Morse, turns back to a sprint distance after a remarkable Oaklawn Park season which included a front-running score in the 1 1/16-mile Essex Handicap.

Tiger Lake, the senior member of the group at 8 years old, has an excellent finishing kick and should not be ignored from the outside post.
Wings of War, an impressive 2 1/2-length winner of the local allowance prep for the John Wayne, possesses the advantage of tactical speed for rider Alfredo Juarez  Jr. Wings of War worked an eye-catching half-mile in 48.50 seconds Tuesday morning in company with stablemate and live Wayne outsider Devil’s Game. Both reside in trainer Thad Keller’s stable.

Brooke’s Gold, also conditioned by Chleborad, willing finisher West Albany, and the highly regarded Mutti Blues complete this competitive field.