06/27/2012 12:51PM

Prairie Meadows: Reed has trio set to challenge Speedacious in Saylorville

Hodges Photography/Lynn Roberts
Speedacious (left) brings an 11-for-22 record into Friday night's Saylorville at Prairie Meadows.

ALTOONA, Iowa --The Iowa Festival of Racing, comprised of six stakes races collectively worth more than $1 million, gets underway on Friday evening at Prairie Meadows in its traditional manner with the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

The 10-race card also includes the $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap and the $100,000 Iowa Distaff.

Led by the ultra-consistent Louisiana-bred 5-year old mare Speedacious, the Saylorville attracted eight entrants, including a trio from trainer Eric Reed’s expanding stable, which now has divisions at Belmont and Keeneland.

Speedacious, whose trainer Bret Calhoun won the 2011 Saylorville with Beat the Blues, is 11 for 22 lifetime with two of those scores coming in open stakes. Most recently, she ran third, beaten three lengths by winner Island Bound and Beat the Blues, in the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs on June 2. Miguel Mena, who has been aboard Speedacious for her last six wins, returns to the saddle.

Reed’s entourage is headed by the Belmont-based Dontbeshy I’ll Buy, who was the 12-1 upset winner of the six-furlong $75,000 Bold Brat over Aqueduct’s inner track in March. Dontbeshy I’ll Buy proved that effort was not an aberration on April 14 when she overcame a poor start to run third behind Godolphin’s classy mare It’s Tricky in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap on Aqueduct’s main oval. Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr., who makes a rare foray to Prairie Meadows, takes the call on the 4-year- old Dontbeshy I’ll Buy.

The local contingent is represented by one of history’s best Iowa-bred sprinters in Sakakawea, who bids to add more sparkle to trainer Ray Tracy’s excellent meet. Sakakawea is 10 for 12 here, including a 5 1/2-furlong allowance tally by 7 3/4 lengths in a sharp 1:03.19. The meet’s leading rider, Alex Birzer, who just gained his 1,000th Prairie Meadows win last Sunday, retains the mount.

The Saylorville lineup is completed by Arlington shipper Yournothtebossofme, the speedy Starlite Starbrite, 2012 Prairie Rose winner Salty Strike, and the Reed-trained duo of Street Mate and Elle Special.

The Iowa Distaff, a 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares, drew six, led by 7-5 morning-line favorite Sterling Madame, who will fly in from Kentucky with other Festival participants.

The Tom Amoss-trained Sterling Madame dusted her foes by 12 1/2 lengths in the May 26 Wild Rose here and her connections were lured into Churchill’s Grade 2 Fleur de Lis on June 16. Sterling Madame was brushed aside by last year’s 3-year-old filly champion Royal Delta after setting strong fractions in the Fleur de Lis and finished a well-beaten fourth. Amoss confirmed that the 4-year-old Sterling Madame is making the trip.

Whether or not Sterling Madame is ready for her best effort, the well-meant pair of Another World and Brushed by a Star will both ship to Iowa with high hopes.

Another World, second to Sterling Madame in the Wild Rose, won Oaklawn’s Red Bud on April 12 by a head from the Steve Asmussen-trained mare Remit and a return to that form for trainer Donnie Von Hemel gives her a good chance.

Brushed by a Star went all the way on the lead to defeat a competitive group of all-male competition in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs. Her trainer, Grant Forster, said “her race against fillies just wouldn’t go so I decided to take a shot against the boys with an eye towards this race at Prairie. It worked out nicely so here we are with a chance to get her a stakes win.”

Jockey Corey Nakatani makes his return to Iowa to ride the 4-year old Brushed by a Star.

Iowa-breds Someplace Else and Bella Road, along with the improving Bekat Bekat, round out the Distaff field.