07/21/2011 12:39PM

Prairie Meadows: Stachys going longer in Prairie Meadows Handicap

Canterbury Park
Stachys will try to stretch his speed 1 1/4 miles in Saturday's $100,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap.

ALTOONA, Iowa – The $100,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap, run for only the second time, returns Saturday evening. The race drew an intriguing field of seven seasoned route horses, five of whom will be attempting the 1 1/4-mile trip for the first time.

Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Stachys, trained by Mike Biehler, returns from his Canterbury Park base for the third time this meet. Winner of the Jim Rasmussen Memorial on May 28 and sixth in the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker on June 25, Stachys, is a consistent rallier and has been installed as the tepid 2-1 morning-line favorite. He is the co-highweight – at 117 pounds – with Kate’s Main Man.

“He’s holding his form, and the stakes program down there is a good fit for him,” Biehler said.

Regular rider Derek Bell retains the mount.

The Iowa-bred Kate’s Main Man, owned by Randy Patterson and trained by Randy Morse, should control the pace. He returned to form with a controlled one-length victory over a mile versus statebred open allowance rivals July 5. Kate’s Main Man seeks his 10th win at Prairie Meadows and has drawn jockey Calvin Borel here for the first time this season.

Worldly, an A.P. Indy full brother to the millionaire Suave, ships in from Churchill Downs for the Jay Em Ess stable and trainer Paul McGee. The improving colt was only beaten 5 3/4 lengths when eighth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster there and should relish the 10-furlong distance under the meet’s leading rider, Terry Thompson.

The pair who have experience at the distance are Donnie K. Von Hemel’s Going Ballistic, who was second by a neck to Proceed Bee in last year’s Prairie Meadows Handicap, and Jack Frost’s Que Paso, who ran third in the same event.

Like Stachys, deep closers Black Hills and Red Lead both ran in the Rasmussen and Cornhusker, but failed to fire. Both geldings return to the fray in the hope that the extended distance will spark a form reversal.

Prairie Meadows had to cancel its nine-race Tuesday afternoon card due to unbearably high temperatures, but a return to more seasonable weather is expected Saturday evening.