05/17/2012 11:07AM

Prairie Meadows: Tracy has sharp foursome for Bob Bryant


ALTOONA, Iowa – Iowa’s best 3-year-olds come to the fore Saturday evening as Prairie Meadows runs the co-featured $60,000-added Bob Bryant Stakes, for fillies, and the $60,000-added Gray’s Lake, for colts and geldings. Both races will be contested over six furlongs.

Trainer Ray Tracy, who is off to an excellent 17-for-60 start this season after prepping his runners at Fair Grounds and Hawthorne, sends over four of the seven Bob Bryant entrants who are “all doing great and improving this year,” he said. His team of Avalanche Pass, Praire Cougar, Sister Jessie, and Sacred Romance are a combined 4 for 5 here this year and appear evenly-matched on paper.

Avalanche Pass cruised by 6 1/2 lengths in her sole try on April 27,and Sister Jessie is a half-sister to Des Moines and Sakakawea, two of the best fillies Tracy has trained. Both Praire Cougar and Sacred Romance, who is 2 for 2 this meet, have improved notably during their second year at the races.

The opposition is led by Here Comes Polly, 2011’s Iowa-bred champion juvenile filly, who was in tough when sixth against open company in the April 20th Goldfinch. The Tim Martin-trained 2011 Iowa Sorority winner returns to her comfort zone against restricted competition, drew the rail and is the tepid 7-2 morning line favorite.

Rudy’s Edge, trained by Lynn Chleborad, dusted a group of maidens that included Sister Jessie by seven lengths on April 20 and Dazzling Pioneer, a consistent sort making her 2012 debut for Kelly Von Hemel, also take their chance in a wide-open renewal.

Similar to the Iowa-bred fillies, seven geldings will face the starter in The Gray’s Lake and there is not a standout in the group.

Favoritism could land on the shoulders of the talented Voodooville, never worse than second in four career starts and the game neck winner of the April 22 allowance prep for this. Trained by Ray Ashford, Voodooville signaled his readiness with a sharp five furlong breeze in 1:00.00 on March 11th.

Freeze Your Kela, who hails from the red hot Chris Richard stable, finished a willing second to Voodooville in the April 22nd race and is open to further improvement in just his fourth lifetime appearance.

The Chleborad-trained Beware the Devil, victorious in the 2011 Iowa Stallion Futurity, should be razor-sharp in his third start of 2012. His May 13 drill, fitted with first time blinkers, in 59.55 seconds over this surface is a positive sign.

Talented closer Peaks of Legend defeated many of his Gray’s Lake rivals last season and should be tighter after finishing a wide-trip sixth against his elders on April 28. Trainer Kelly Von Hemel also adds blinkers for this start hoping to prompt more alertness from the Peaks and Valleys gelding.

Recent maiden winners I’m Honour Grad and One Eyed Harry, along with the deep-closing maiden A Little Edgy round, out the field.