09/09/2009 11:00PM

Shadowbdancing best of horse for course trio

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The $75,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap on Saturday night promises to be a hotly contested affair with track specialists Shadowbdancing, Wayzata Bay, and Red Hot N Gold all entered in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Shadowbdancing, the 8-5 morning-line-favorite and highweight at 125 pounds, ships in from Chicago for trainer Terrel Gore in stellar form after trouncing six rivals in Mountaineer's $125,000 West Virginia Governor's on Aug. 1.

The 4-year-old Shadowbdancing was unchallenged on the lead that day and won under wraps by eight lengths. He will employ the same catch-me-if-you-can tactics in this race over an oval where he is 3 for 5 with earnings of $170,000.

Wayzata Bay, the longstanding star of Judi Hicklin's locally based string, has won this race three years in a row. However, the 7-year-old Wayzata Bay has yet to run back to his outstanding 2008 form, which included a 34-1 upset win in the Grade 2 Cornhusker here. Clearly, this race and surface - where he has won nine times for earnings of $481,150 - brings out the best in Wayzata Bay.

Red Hot N Gold, the best Iowa-bred in racing, hails from Kelly Von Hemel's stable and should not be overlooked. He has won 12 races and amassing $477,080 in earnings. Recently, he took the Ralph Hayes by a well-measured length. The 5-year-old Red Hot N Gold must improve against open company.

The other three entrants - Sebastian County, Stonehouse, and Tiger Lake - are not without their chances. Sebastian County was a brave second, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Shadowbdancing, in the Jim Rasmussen Memorial over this course and distance May 23. Stonehouse, another Chicago invader, has back class and won three straight stakes earlier this season at Delta Downs, Oaklawn Park, and Hawthorne.