07/04/2002 11:00PM

Sand Ridge rallies


ALTOONA, Iowa - Sand Ridge ($18.80) rallied from last and caught Boots on Sunday in the final stride to score a nose victory in the $150,000 Iowa Sprint Championship at Prairie Meadows.

Defending champion and highweight Bonapaw, who was favored at 1-2, set the pace under pressure from Men's Exclusive through a half-mile run in 44.40 seconds. Boots on Sunday and jockey Roman Chappa stalked the dueling leaders to the stretch, angled out, and took a narrow lead a furlong out. Sand Ridge, although within a 1 1/2 lengths of the lead, still trailed in the four-horse field in midstretch, but he responded to a strong left-handed whip from Ken Shino. Sand Ridge clocked the six furlongs in 1:08.64.

Boots on Sunday finished two lengths clear of Men's Exclusive, who finished third, with Bonapaw tiring to finish last.

The victory was Sand Ridge's 14th from 40 career starts, and the $90,000 winner's share of the Sprint purse sends the 7-year-old's earnings to more than $563,000. Sand Ridge, who finished second behind Bonapaw in the Sprint last year, has now won 4 of his 8 local starts, with all four victories coming in stakes races. Don Von Hemel trains Sand Ridge for owner Thunderhead Farms.

o Favorite Blackjack Boy ($4.20) stalked pacesetter Fly Honor Fly to the stretch and rallied for a 2 1/2-length victory in the $60,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes Thursday.

Blackjack Boy covered the five furlongs in a stakes record 57.35 seconds under jockey Jon Court. Fly Honor Fly saved second by a neck over the filly Ruby's Reception, who rallied for third despite stumbling leaving the gate and experiencing early traffic trouble.

Steve Morguelan trains Blackjack Boy, who won for the second time in three career starts for owner Iron Horse Racing.