05/15/2002 12:00AM

Prairie Meadows track report


ALTOONA, Iowa - With a little more than one-quarter of the 52-day meeting at Prairie Meadows in the books, Terry Thompson appears well on his way to a third consecutive riding title.

Thompson held a 23-14 edge over Cindy Noll in the standings through Tuesday's racing. Greg Schaefer is one win behind Noll in third in the standings. Luis Quinonez, with 11, is the only other rider with at least 10 wins at the meet.

Veteran agent Kenny Washburn is very happy with the current standings as he books mounts for both Thompson and Schaefer.

The trainers' race here is shaping up as a much better battle, as defending champion Stanley Roberts holds a 9-8 edge over Ray Tracy Jr., who led the standings here in 2000. A trio of trainers - Don Von Hemel, Lynn Chleborad, and Roger Engel - are tied for third, having sent out seven winners each. Engel is winning at a 50-percent clip, having saddled only 14 starters at the meet.

* An assistant starter here escaped injury in a bizarre accident here last week. Shortly after the horses broke from the gate in Wednesday's fifth race, the starter, who was running toward the rail in front of the gate, failed to notice that a horse had dwelt and was still standing in post 3.

As the starter crossed over in front of her stall, the horse suddenly broke from the gate and the starter crashed into her side and was knocked to the ground. He was quickly back up on his feet, however, and suffered no serious injuries. The name of the horse responsible for the trouble - Gonna Run Over You.