06/23/2009 12:00AM

Stall could have two favorites at Prairie

Louis Hodges Jr.
My Pal Charlie hasn't won since last year's Super Derby, but could go favored in Saturday's Grade 2 Cornhusker.

Al Stall is a New Orleanian by birth and upbringing, and bases his stable in Louisiana and Kentucky, with a dab of Saratoga tossed in. But Stall could be in for a big Iowa weekend at Prairie Meadows, with major players in the Iowa Derby on Friday night and the Cornhusker Handicap on Saturday evening.

Terrain, who had a spot of trouble when he finished seventh in the Preakness Stakes, could be favored for Stall and owner Adele Dilschneider on Friday in the $250,000 Iowa Derby, which drew an interesting field of nine. The Iowa Derby completes a three-stakes Friday card (drawn Monday) that also includes the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks and the $100,000 Saylorville.

Saturday's stakes lineup, assembled Tuesday, begins with the $125,000 Iowa Sprint, which drew a solid seven-horse field; moves on to $125,000 Iowa Distaff, which drew only five entries; and concludes with the Grade 2, $300,000 Cornhusker, in which the Stall-trained, B. Wayne Hughes-owned My Pal Charlie may be favored.

The 2008 Cornhusker winner, Wayzata Bay, was among the race's eight entries, but the field for the 2009 edition looks stronger than last year's, while Wayzata Bay has lost seven in a row. My Pal Charlie also is on a losing streak, his most recent victory a romp last September in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. But as with Terrain, My Pal Charlie has been facing stiff competition. On May 25 he finished a troubled fourth of 12 in the Met Mile, and earlier in the month he was second in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap at seven furlongs.

Secret Getaway, one of three horses in from Arlington Park for the Cornhusker, also will be well supported. He finished second in the New Orleans Handicap before getting a freshening following a fourth-place effort in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Arlington-based Shadowbdancing won the local Cornhusker prep by more than two lengths, and is one of several front-runners in a race that also attracted Stonehouse, Red Hot N Gold, California invader Victory Pete, and reliable veteran Jonesboro.

Euphony probably will head the betting in the Iowa Distaff, but the Stall-trained Bear Now exits Grade 1 competition. Native Ruler, Semaphore Man, Sok Sok, and Bold Start form the core of the Iowa Sprint.

In Friday's derby, Terrain faces two Steve Asmussen-trained horses, Uno Mas and Soul Warrior, as well as sharp Churchill shipper Moonport and Proceed Bee, who won the local Iowa Derby prep.

In the Iowa Oaks, Grade 1 Ashland Stakes winner Hooh Why tries for her first victory on dirt.