05/17/2006 11:00PM

Prairie Meadows: 'Wild West' back to defend


Defending champion Wild Wild West heads a field of six Iowa-bred geldings in the $65,000 John Wayne Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Wild Wild West went winless in four starts following last year's John Wayne victory before snapping back to form by scoring a 1 3/4-length victory after an extended pace duel on April 22 in a six-furlong allowance against statebreds. Kelly Von Hemel trains the 5-year-old Wild Wild West, who has a record of 7-5-0 from 14 starts at six furlongs.

Terry Thompson has a return call on Wild Wild West, who figures to be on the pace.

The undefeated B B Wolf looks dangerous for his co-owner, breeder, and trainer Terrell Hemmer. B B Wolf didn't begin his career until Sept. 5 of last year as a 4-year-old, when he scored an easy 4 1/2-length, gate-to-wire victory over statebreds. He has since scored two more open-length, gate-to-wire wins at Prairie Meadows, including his most recent start, when he defeated second-level allowance rivals on April 28 by 4 1/4 lengths. B B Wolf has never trailed a horse at any call in his three starts. Glenn Corbett, the meet's leading rider who has ridden B B Wolf in all of his starts, has a return call.

If Wild Wild West and B B Wolf get involved in a speed duel, stretch-running Take Me Up could be the main beneficiary. Take Me Up won this race in both 2003 and 2004 and has career earnings of more than $512,000. Take Me Up hasn't won a race in 10 starts in 2005-06. He makes his first start in trainer Paul Pearson's care in more than 18 months on Saturday.