08/08/2013 1:55PM

Prairie Meadows: Smack Smack to be short price in Juvenile Mile


ALTOONA, Iowa – The undefeated Smack Smack, the late-rallying winner of the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile on July 20, will be heavily favored in Saturday’s $60,000 Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile as the ballyhooed Ride On Curlin will remain in Louisville, Ky.

Ride On Curlin, who broke Ellis Park’s 5 1/2-furlong track record and registered a 91 Beyer Speed Figure in his July 13 maiden win, will be kept under wraps by trainer Billy Gowan.

“We’re going to wait for the Sept. 7 Iroquois at Churchill,” Gowan said. “We want to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup.”

Smack Smack, the young gun in Don Von Hemel’s stable, which has enjoyed a 10-for-28 meet here, would have been a force to be reckoned with for Ride On Curlin. Smack Smack, a laid-back Closing Argument gelding produced by owner Toby Keith’s Dream Walkin Farms breeding program, gives every indication that the added distance will suit him, and he relaxed through an open, five-furlong gallop in 1:05.62 last Saturday. Jake Barton retains the mount.

Ethical, who was claimed July 21 for $20,000 by trainer John Hall for owner Shawn Schabel, crushed a group of maidens by 12 3/4 lengths in his initial try on this surface over five furlongs. The Candy Ride colt exhibited his good tactical speed when breezing five furlongs in 1:02.17 just after Smack Smack went last Saturday.

The Dave Tibbitts-trained Tickatee Tickatay, who will try to emulate his stablemate and 2012 Juvenile Mile winner Dirty Rotten Shame, has three second-place finishes in as many starts and might control the pace under jockey Shane Laviolette.

The Oklahoma-bred Big Sugar High, trained by Tim Martin, bested Tickatee Tickatay by three-quarters of a length July 19 in a five-furlong dash and drew the rail for Saturday’s race. Sasha Risenhoover, who shed her apprentice status July 1 and has done well since, stays aboard.

The expected group of seven is rounded out by the Iowa-bred winner Makoshika and a pair of maidens, Dehaven and Sweet Nealie, the field’s only filly.

The Prairie Juvenile Mile is the featured event of the Thoroughbred meet’s closing-night card and is scheduled for 9:11 Central.