06/14/2006 11:00PM

Sur Sandpit in Cyclones 'Cap off strong third


Sur Sandpit, a former claimer turned stakes winner, heads a field of nine older Iowa-breds in Saturday's $70,000 Cyclones Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

Sur Sandpit was claimed for $15,000 here in May 2005 by the American Thoroughbred Stable and trainer Suzie Evans. A 6-year-old gelded son of Sandpit, he has won 5 of his 9 starts since the claim, including last August's $81,000 Ralph Hayes Stakes at Prairie Meadows, and has earned more than $133,000 for his current connections.

In his most recent start, Sur Sandpit rallied from well off the pace to finish third, beaten just three-quarters of a length against open company, in the $50,000 Rasmussen Memorial at 1 1/16 miles at Prairie Meadows. Sur Sandpit is the 121-pound starting highweight in the Cyclones and will concede from two to eight pounds to his eight rivals. Luis Ranilla has a return call on Sur Sandpit, who does his best running from off the pace.

Wild Wild West is the likely pacesetter and could lead all the way under jockey Ken Shino. Wild Wild West has yet to win at the 1 1/16-mile distance of this race but has finished second in 4 of his 6 tries. Overall, Wild Wild West sports a mark of 7-10-0 from 21 starts, good for $251,530 in earnings. Kelly Von Hemel trains Wild Wild West for his owner-breeder, William Hobbs. Wild Wild West will carry 116 pounds.

Eight-year-old Take Me Up won the Cyclones in 2003 and tops the field in wins with 12 and career earnings with $515,829. Take Me Up is winless in 2005-2006 but finished a closing third, beaten one length, in this event last year. He will carry 116 pounds on Saturday.