05/26/2009 11:00PM

Sakakawea wins despite bumping incident


ALTOONA, Iowa - A pair of six-furlong stakes races restricted to Iowa-bred 3-year-olds were co-featured on the Memorial Day card at Prairie Meadows. First up, a solid group of nine fillies contested the $62,733 Bob Bryant. Sakakawea, trained by Ray Tracy, displayed tenacity during an eventful stretch drive to fend off the favored Lynn Chleborad trainee Brava Darby by a nose.

Approaching the furlong marker, Sakakawea, racing between her two chief rivals, was bumped soundly by eventual third-place finisher Makasi to her inside and the rallying Brava Darby to her outside. Not discouraged, Sakakawea dug deep and prevailed, covering the six furlongs in 1:10.54.

Earning $37,640 for the Tracy family's Black Oak Farm, who named the homebred filly after a North Dakota lake near where her trainer was raised, the daughter of Rossini has improved steadily in recent weeks.

"It's amazing how quiet she is around the barn but, her last two works, under Terry Thompson, showed me she was sitting on a big race." Tracy said. "For me, it was just a matter of if she was fast enough."

As third choice in the wagering, Sakakawea paid $9.60 and improved her record here to 3-for-3.

In the $60,666 Gray's Lake for colts and geldings, Karl's Speed Demon extended his undefeated record, all during the first 19 days of this meet, to 3-for-3. Trained by Mike Natale for Sandra Rasmussen's River Ridge Ranch LLC, the gelded son of Devil His Due seized command at once and gradually increased his advantage throughout to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

Sent off the 3-5 favorite in a field of six, the long-striding Karl's Speed Demon earned $36,400 for his connections and was timed in an impressive 1:09.93.

Trainer Larry Hunt's homebred I Vow to Win stayed on to garner the place spot as the 8-5 second choice. The chalk-chalk exacta returned a mere $4.60.