07/14/2011 2:25PM

Prairie Meadows: Juvenile stakes difficult to decipher


ALTOONA, Iowa – The first two open stakes of the Prairie Meadows meet for 2-year-olds, the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile and the $75,000 Prairie Gold Lassie, will be held Saturday evening. Both 5  1/2-furlong races will feature talent from local maiden events and a diverse group of shippers.

Ten colts and geldings go to post in the Juvenile. Bret Calhoun’s pair of undefeated Texas-breds, Canigotoo and Lil Cherokee, could vie for favoritism as they are uncoupled in wagering.

Canigotoo impressed followers of Lone Star Park’s racing program when he romped by 12 1/4 lengths in his June 16 debut versus fellow Texas-breds over five furlongs. The gelding showed impressive speed covering the distance in 58 seconds. Cliff Berry makes the trip here to retain the mount.

Lil Cherokee has won twice under Berry, and displayed tenacity last out when taking the $89,000 TTA Sales Futurity by a half-length over Field Goal on June 11. Ry Eikleberry, who has been picking up business here since Canterbury Park ceased operation, returns for the mount.

Amongst the locals, Belmont Express, conditioned by leading trainer Chris Richard; Jake Mo, a Giacomo colt; Let’s Get Crackin, an easy three-length winner on June  14; and Sir Richey, an Iowa-bred who defeated open company, have all won maiden races convincingly.

Pryce’s Posse, trained by Tim Ice, and Backdoor Kenny, handled by Jimmy DiVito, venture down I-80 from Arlington Park in the hopes of transferring their ability to dirt following excellent Polytrack efforts.

Eleven fillies, all winners, will test their mettle in the Lassie.

The Calhoun-trained Shocktime, a 12 3/4-length winner of the filly division of the $93,000 TTA Sales Futurity, will hook the likes of Point, a Tom Amoss trainee who cruised by eight lengths in her June 18 Colonial Downs debut, and the DiVito-trained Blue Forty, who was untested when scoring by four lengths in her June  18 Arlington Park bow.

Oklahoma-bred Scrappy Coco leads the local contingent. Owner-breeder-trainer Wilson Brown’s Burbank filly drew off by 12 lengths when she won her maiden here May  31.

Page Springs, the princess of the juvenile program at Turf Paradise, returns to the races after training forwardly here for Dan McFarlane. Canterbury Park shipper Grand Forest, from Mike Biehler’s stable, crushed four foes by 3 1/2 lengths in her lone start.