07/05/2004 11:00PM

Prairie Meadows: Roses in May hangs on

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ALTOONA, Iowa - Roses in May dictated the pace under jockey Mark Guidry and turned away a bid from 4-5 favorite Perfect Drift through the stretch to score a 1 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

Roses in May ($7.40) established the early lead while racing in the three path and tried to get out a bit around the first turn. Perfect Drift came through an opening inside of the winner entering the final turn and the pair came into the stretch head and head.

Roses in May quickly regained a narrow edge and was late switching leads, but once he did nearing the sixteenth marker he was able to inch clear from Perfect Drift nearing the wire. Roses in May clocked the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.63, just .01 of a second off the track record set by Beboppin Baby in the 1998 Cornhusker. Perfect Drift easily held second, finishing four lengths clear of Crafty Shaw, who tracked the winner to the stretch before weakening.

* Wildwood Royal ($7.60) controlled the pace throughout on her way to a two-length victory in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Breeders' Cup.

Wildwood Royal drew clear on the final turn while clocking the 1 1/16 miles in a stakes record of 1:41.61. Chance Dance was second, 4 1/4 lengths clear of Cat Fighter in third.