07/30/2003 11:00PM

Prairie: Patton's Victory favored


ALTOONA, Iowa - Patton's Victory goes for his sixth win of the year when he starts as the 122-pound highweight in a field of eight, including two entries, in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap.

Patton's Victory, who will be making his third start in 21 days, comes off a third-place finish behind Daunting in the Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury Park two weeks ago. He set the pace to the stretch in the 1 1/8-mile race before fading to be beaten 5 1/2 lengths.

Stanley Roberts trains Patton's Victory, a 5-year-old gelding who has gone from the claiming ranks to a graded stakes winner. As recently as last October, Patton's Victory raced for a $7,500 claiming tag at Hoosier Park, but after being freshened for several months he returned to the races in February a much-improved horse. He reeled off four straight wins, including the Grade 3 Fifth Season at Oaklawn Park in April.

Patton's Victory, ridden by regular rider Alex Birzer, will concede from four to 10 pounds to his seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile handicap.

Take Me Up, who finished second in last year's Prairie Meadows Handicap, looks like the main threat. A 5-year-old Iowa-bred gelding, Take Me Up figures to benefit from a hot early pace with Patton's Victory, Northwest Hill, Stormy Impact, and Le Numerous all having front-running styles.

Take Me Up, who carries 116 pounds, has won two of his three starts this year. Both wins came in statebred stakes here, including his last start when he rallied to catch stablemate Le Numerous and scored a neck victory in the $75,000 Cyclones Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on June 22. Ken Shino will be aboard Take Me Up for the first time.