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Updated on 06/27/2013 1:31PM
Prairie Meadows: Saylorville Stakes, Iowa Distaff top undercard
ALTOONA, Iowa – Friday’s first card of the Iowa Festival of Racing at Prairie Meadows is topped by the $125,000 Iowa Sprint but also includes a pair of $100,000 stakes for fillies and mares, the six-furlong Saylorville and the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Distaff.
Beat the Blues, winner of the 2011 Saylorville, was made the 9-5 morning-line favorite for this year’s renewal, but will miss the race because of a minor foot abscess. That leaves a field of five for the Saylorville, including Lulu Wong, a steadily improving former claimer for owner Maggi Moss, and the peaking Ron Moquett trainee Livi Makenzie.
Lulu Wong, conditioned by this meet’s leading trainer, Chris Richard, impressed when taking the local Saylorville prep, the $58,800 Prairie Rose by 3 3/4 lengths in a spritely 1:09.13. Moss referred to the win “as a pleasant surprise” from the 4-year-old filly, a $32,000 Oaklawn Park claim on Jan. 18.
Jockey Terry Thompson, currently in the midst of a spirited battle for the local title with Alex Birzer and David Mello, retains the mount.
Livi Makenzie, who Moquett calls “a hard-trier improving with age,” also has good gate speed and scored by two lengths in a six-furlong Churchill allowance May 16. The 4-year-old filly seeks her first stakes win and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., the leading rider at Oaklawn Park this year.
Devious Intent, who was second last out behind Livi Makenzie, will look to post a mild upset for jockey Rosie Napravnik and trainer Kellyn Gorder.
Canterbury shipper Second Street City and the locally trained Denali Dreamscape, the field’s only 3-year-old, both put two-race win streaks on the line as they seek to handle a rise in class.
Distaff: Flashy American favored
The Iowa Distaff attracted a field of seven headed by 8-5 morning-line favorite Flashy American, a Ken McPeek trainee who has won her last three tries at 1 1/16 miles.
Flashy American has landed in a good spot for her stakes debut after pulling away from a Churchill Downs allowance field on June 6 to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Thompson will be aboard the 4-year-old Flashy Bull filly for the first time.
Magic Hour, freshened since winning the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on March 16 for trainer Ian Wilkes and owner Janis Whitham, will be ridden by the Churchill-based Leandro Goncalves.
Queen Lilly Kay loves the Prairie Meadows oval and has never finished worse than third in eight local starts. Trainer Kelly Von Hemel has her primed for an upset following a strong 6 3/4-length win in the Hawkeyes Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race restricted to Iowa-breds. Glenn Corbett, the track’s all-time leading rider, stays aboard.
Lava Girl, Miss Hockaday, and Itsabeautifulthing all return after chasing home Maude S in the May 25 Wild Rose, the local prep for the Iowa Distaff.
The field is rounded out by its lone 3-year-old, Cruzette. A War Pass filly owned and trained by Chris Hartman, Cruzette will try to stretch her speed around two turns for the first time.
Post time for the Saylorville, the sixth race on the nine-race card, is 8:46 p.m. Central. The Iowa Distaff and featured Iowa Sprint Handicap will follow.
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