05/15/2011 11:51AM

Prairie Meadows: Mutti Blues makes amends by scoring front-running victory in John Wayne

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Mutti Blues controlled the pace and turned Saturday night's featured John Wayne Stakes, a $70,000 sprint for Iowa-breds at Prairie Meadows, into a procession when he pulled away from eight other geldings to win by 4 3/4 lengths.

Ridden confidently by the meet's leading rider, Terry Thompson, Mutti Blues, a 5-year-old son of Mutakddim, broke sharply and never saw another foe.

Trained by Chris Richard for Leroy Gessman's Umbrella Stables LLC, Mutti Blues reversed the form he showed here in the April 22 allowance prep for the John Wayne when beaten 10 lengths over a sealed track as the 4-5 favorite. He rewarded his followers with a $14.20 mutuel as the fourth choice in the John Wayne, earning $42,000 for his connections. It was Richard's third win of the evening and 15th of the meet, putting him eight in front of his nearest rivals.

Honest closer West Albany, trained by Dick Clark, rallied nicely under Perry Compton for second but made no impression on Mutti Blues. Dismissed at odds of 15-1, West Albany completed a generous $140.60 exacta.

Wings of War, the 7-5 favorite, broke a step slow from the inside post and could only manage a fifth-place finish.
Mutti Blues ran the six furlongs in a snappy 1:09.92 on an unseasonably cold and drizzly evening.