07/18/2013 2:55PM

Prairie Meadows: Locals will be tested in pair of 2-year-old stakes


ALTOONA, Iowa – Saturday’s co-featured $75,000 Prairie Meadows Gold Juvenile and $75,000 Prairie Meadows Gold Lassie, both contested at 5 1/2 furlongs, offer locally based 2-year-olds the opportunity to test their class versus quality ship-in talent from around the Midwest.

The Juvenile field of six is headed by the Wesley Ward-trained Big Blue Talent, a 2 1/4-length winner of a Churchill Downs maiden race June 28. Jockey Israel Ocampo will handle the assignment.

The Illinois-bred Bad Boy Peter cruised to an easy six-length tally versus statebreds at his Arlington Park base July 5. Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux will be in to retain the mount on the Tom Swearingen trainee.

As for the local contingent, Oklahoma-bred Da Belldozer, who has breezed alongside talented older sprinters Black Bear and Alsvid this meet for trainer Chris Hartman, won the first juvenile maiden race of the season here May 30 by 3 1/4 lengths. He has been pointed to the Gold Juvenile ever since.

The Lynn Chleborad-trained Excessive locked horns with Magic and More on June 1, and the pair dead-heated, 8 3/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Marry Me Next.

Smack Smack, who hails from the Don Von Hemel stable, which is 9 for 22 here this season, showed a good turn of foot when closing ground from his difficult inside post to win his debut by 1 3/4 lengths July 4.

The other shipper in the field is the Arizona-bred Deadly Black Eagle. Trainer and co-owner Dan McFarlane has freshened him up since three starts in quick succession at Turf Paradise. Deadly Black Eagle’s solid workout tab at Canterbury Park signals his readiness.

Lassie: Shippers look tough

The Lassie, with eight fillies entered, is led by Churchill Downs shipper More Than Beauty and Lone Star Park visitor Bakken Baby.

More Than Beauty, trained by Cecil Borel and to be ridden by his brother, Calvin, chased home the speedy Fiftyshadesofgold when second best in the Debutante at Churchill.

Bakken Baby impressed in her Lone Star maiden score June 28 when she pulled away by 5 3/4 lengths and registered a 79 Beyer Speed Figure. Trainer Chris Hartman takes over for Karl Broberg as conditioner, and he taps jockey Ken Tohill for the mount.

Trainer Tom Amoss, who sent up Kentucky Derby fifth-place finisher Mylute to run second in last year’s Gold Juvenile, is represented by Divergent View, a three-quarter-length Churchill maiden winner May 31.

Canterbury shipper Designer Legs, a Louisiana-bred trained by Gary Scherer, responded strongly for a 1 1/2-length win in her June 28 bow and fits nicely with these.

Trainer Steve Asmussen taps Del Mar Holiday from his formidable string of Churchill-based 2-year-olds. She will have to improve on her third-place finish in Churchill’s Debutante, five lengths behind More Than Beauty.

The Prairie Meadows-based trio of Yokohama Mama, Ella’s Glory, and Holy Missile will test their mettle and hope to step up versus faster fillies.

The Juvenile has a scheduled post of 9:11 p.m. Central on Saturday and will be followed by the Lassie at 9:37  p.m.