04/24/2007 11:00PM

Prairie Meadows meet opens


Good crowds and nice weather greeted both fans and horsemen as the 46-day Thoroughbred meet began at Prairie Meadows last Friday night. The apron was nearly packed as Irish Party became only the seventh Iowa-bred to win an unrestricted stakes at Prairie Meadows worth at least $50,000 when she captured the $50,000 Goldfinch at six furlongs.

Prairie Meadows made a special presentation last Friday night to Maggi Moss, the nation's leading owner in wins in 2006 with 211. After being shut out Friday, she came back Saturday night to win two races, including the $50,000 Golden Circle with Biglie Smallworld. Moss won five races during the first four days of the meet.

* The jockeys race figures to be tight this meet. Tim Doocy, Glenn Corbett, and Terry Thompson are all tied with five winners. Carlos Montalvo, Alex Birzer, and Perry Compton have three winners each so far.

Trainer Kelly Von Hemel is off to a red-hot start, as he tops the trainer standings with six winners, which came from 10 starters, including three races in a row Tuesday. Dick Clark is one back with five winners, while Ray Tracy Jr. has four.