05/19/2010 11:00PM

Sprint stakes lure class fields at Prairie


ALTOONA, Iowa - Prairie Meadows has carded two $60,000, six-furlong sprints Saturday, the Prairie Express for older horses and the Prairie Rose, which is restricted to fillies and mares.

Ez Dreamer, a 5-year-old trained by Kory Owens, will make his first start of the Prairie Meadows meet in the Express. Owens said that Ez-Dreamer is the fifth generation of horses he has raced from this female family, beginning with In the Gate, a foal of 1978. Ez-Dreamer is the first foal of the dam French Debutante, who also produced the multiple graded-stakes-placed 3-year-old Uh Oh Bango.

Ez-Dreamer has made three starts this year. He won the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise in February, then shipped to Oaklawn Park where he was third in the Hot Springs and fifth in the Count Fleet Handicap.

Owens said Ez Dreamer did not like the Oaklawn Park track surface and he is looking forward to getting him back to Prairie Meadows where he has won two of three starts, including last years' $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap.

"He's getting picky in his old age, he likes a dry track that he can get a hold of," Owens said.

Native Ruler leads the group of six challengers. Native Ruler, 6, has won four races from six starts at Prairie Meadows, including the last year's Express. He is trained by Chris Richard.

Palanka City will make her local debut in the Prairie Rose, though she is no stranger to the track. In 2008, Palanka City was stabled at Prairie Meadows while she prepared for the Miss Preakness.

Trainer Scott Becker said he gave Palanka City a break after racing at Oaklawn and that she has been on a steady work pattern at Fairmount Park.

Palanka City faces considerable opposition from Illinois invader Nicks, who earned a career-high 92 Beyer Speed Figure in her second-place finish in the Governor's Lady Handicap at Hawthorne.

The two stakes will go as the seventh and eighth races on the nine-race card.