Updated on 09/17/2011 1:59PM

Swingforthefences a hit

Jack Coady/Coady Photo
Swingforthefences rallies to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby Friday night at Prairie Meadows.

Swingforthefences overcame a three-wide trip and rallied for a half-length victory over Courageous Act in the $250,000 Iowa Derby Friday night at Prairie Meadows.

Swingforthefences, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, made his move approaching the stretch while outside of the dueling leaders, 4-5 favorite J Town, who set the pace, and Courageous Act. Swingforthefences responded to strong right-handed pressure through the final furlong and was up late to prevail, clocking the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.31. Cryptograph finished fastest to be third, a half-length behind Courageous Act.

The win was first career stakes score for Swingforthefences, his third win overall from eight starts, and sends his earnings to $310,970 for trainer Rick Violette. he paid $5.40 as the second choice.

Violette was very happy with the way Swingforthefences performed in the Iowa Derby: "He ran huge. He overcame a wide trip and got the job done. He has a lot of heart."

Violette said Swingforthefences, a son of Boston Harbor, could make his make next start in any of several races, including the Jim Dandy, Haskell, or the Travers.

Oaks: He Loves Me

He Loves Me ($8.20) made a quick move to reach contention entering the far turn and wore down pacesetter Prospective Saint through the final furlong to score a three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks.

Jockey Jozbin Santana made his first Prairie Meadows ride a winning one, guiding He Loves Me to the score in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks. Prospective Saint easily held second, finishing 6 1/4 lengths clear of the 8-5 favorite, Home Court, who chased the pacesetter to the stretch before weakening.

He Loves Me stopped the timer in 1:42.80, a full half-second faster than the Iowa Derby two races earlier on the card.

Richard Small trains He Loves Me, who recorded her first graded stakes win in the $125,000 Oaks and ran her record to 6-1-1 from 10 starts, good for $237,250 in earnings for her owner-breeders, Buckingham Farm.

"She ran real well," Small said. "It's a long way to come. She didn't come in a plane, she came here in a truck," said Small, referring to the filly being hauled in from Small's home base at Pimlico in Maryland.