07/03/2007 11:00PM

Record meet for Von Hemel


Trainer Kelly Von Hemel had to be sad to see the Prairie Meadows meet end Wednesday. Von Hemel set a Prairie Meadows record by winning seven of the 21 stakes at the meet. Six of Von Hemel's stakes wins came with fillies or mares.

"We've had a good meet, and I owe a lot of it to my owners who have provided me with some nice horses," said the 42 year-old Von Hemel, who has been training for 22 years. "When you've got horses like Miss Macy Sue, Irish Party, and Seekingthereinbow it makes setting records possible."

* This past weekend's Iowa Festival of Racing not only provided some of the best racing at the meet, but also the biggest ontrack wagering. Saturday night's 10-race card, featuring the Cornhusker Handicap, Iowa Sprint, and Iowa Distaff, had the highest ontrack handle of the meet, $154,674. Friday night's card, featuring the Iowa Derby, Iowa Oaks, and Saylorville, had ontrack wagering of $142,309, the second highest total of the meet.

* Last Friday night did have one sad moment as 9-year-old track-record holder Northwest Hill broke down midway through the turn in the fourth race and had to be euthanized. The classy veteran had won 16 races in 72 starts, and earned $346,674. Owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Dick Clark, Northwest Hill set the Prairie Meadows record for a mile and 70 yards (1:39.69) in 2003.

* Hello Mo fell short Tuesday night in his bid to tie the Prairie Meadows record for consecutive wins. The 5-year-old gelding had won four races in a row at the meet, but didn't fire and finished last of seven in the $7,500 claiming race. Four horses have won five straight at Prairie Meadows, with Just a Eclipse being the last in 1999.

* Prairie Meadows Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet mixed will begin on Tuesday. The 40-day meet runs through Sept. 15 and will feature six Thoroughbred and four Quarter Horse races per card.