06/03/2009 11:00PM

Sprinters look to stretch speed in Prairie stakes


The Panthers Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies, and the Prairie Mile, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, will serve as the Prairie Meadows prep races for the Iowa Oaks and Iowa Derby, respectively, both to be run during the Iowa Festival of Racing at the end of June. Both the Panthers and Prairie Mile will be contested over a mile, and each race showcases sprinters trying to stretch their speed around two turns.

The Panthers, which drew a contentious field of seven, marks the return of locally based Don'ttalktome, who crushed her Goldfinch Stakes competition by 12 lengths when going six furlongs in 1:09.46 on April 25. It will be interesting to see if the diminutive Don'ttalktome, daughter of Cactus Ridge trained by Judi Hicklin, can get the mile.

The Tom Dorris-trained Bow Tie Pasta, victorious in Hawthorne's Pretty Jenny Stakes on April 25, tests her mettle against open company. She has won two in a row versus Illinois-breds. Sweet and Flawless, who makes the trek from Kentucky for Eric Reed's stable, is a proven commodity at route distances. However, as the Panthers represents her stakes debut, the daughter of Unbridled's Song will be tested for class.

The eight-horse Prairie Mile features some accomplished runners. Uno Mas, already a veteran of 10 races, including five straight stakes tries, hails from Steve Asmussen's Keeneland-based string. The deep-closing son of Macho Uno was a solid third behind subsequent Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire in the Grade 3 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb. 7.

Proceed Bee, a stakes winner at 2 and third in Turfway Park's Grade 2 Lane's End on March 21, attempts to get his season back on track. In his most recent start, on May 23, he finished a dull seventh in the Arlington Classic on turf. Leading jockey Terry Thompson, who has won 33 races in the first 24 days of this meet, accepts the call from trainer Scott Becker.