06/25/2003 11:00PM

Von Hemel filly heads Saylorville


ALTOONA, Iowa - At 11:30 a.m., with only two entries in the box, it didn't look as if the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes would attract enough starters. But after several hours and many phone calls by the Prairie Meadows racing office, a field of five was assembled for Saturday night's six-furlong race at Prairie Meadows.

Multiple-stakes-winner See How She Runs figures as a solid favorite in the Saylorville. A 4-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon, she began her career with five straight victories, including last spring's Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn.

She was beaten for the first time here last July, when she lost by a head in the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Oaks. Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, See How She Runs ran only two more races in 2002, finishing second in a pair of stakes.

See How She Runs began 2003 with an off-the-board finish, the only out-of-the-money finish of her career, over a muddy track in the Pippin at Oaklawn in February. Following back-to-back runner-up finishes in allowance races at Oaklawn, she began a new winning streak in a Lone Star allowance race April 27. In her most recent start, she scored a three-quarter-length victory at Lone Star in the $100,000 Valid Expectations. Regular rider Don Pettinger will be in to ride See How She Runs in the Saylorville.

Don't Countess Out is the main threat. A Larry Jones-trained 4-year-old filly, she enters off back-to-back stakes scores at Saturday's six-furlong distance. She won the Prairie Rose here in April, and in her most recent start rallied for a 3 1/2-length score in the Hoist Her Flag at Canterbury Park on May 31.

Don't Countess Out has won 9 of 19 career starts, and has an impressive record of five wins and a second-place finish in seven starts at Prairie Meadows. She will have her regular rider, Terry Thompson, in the saddle.

Pair of local champs in Hawkeyes

Two Iowa-bred champions square off in the $70,000 Hawkeyes Handicap for statebred fillies and mares, Saturday's co-feature.

Sharky's Review, 2002's Iowa-bred older filly or mare of the year and winner of last year's Hawkeyes, has finished behind One Fine Shweetie, last year's Iowa-bred 3-year filly of the year, in both of their head-to-head matchups so far this year.

Both of those races, however, were sprints, and Sharky's Review has since won twice around two turns, including a win against open company here two weeks ago in the $50,000 Wild Rose at Saturday's 1 1/16-mile distance. One Fine Shweetie has never won around two turns.