08/04/2010 2:51PM

Von Hemel has two in Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile


ALTOONA, IOWA – Friday’s inaugural running of the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile will close out the open stakes program at the meet. The $60,000 stakes for 2 year olds was added to the schedule this year to give emerging talent an opportunity to test their stamina.

Donnie K. Von Hemel has entered a couple of prospects. The colt, Sherriff Cogburn, is coming off a seven-length victory in a maiden race at Arlington Park. The filly, Larue Lovelake, finished fifth in the Prairie Gold Lassie after winning her maiden at Prairie Meadows.

Von Hemel expressed confidence in the ability of both horses to get the distance and has not found a need to vary their training regimen.

“They are both bred with the intention of running long,” he said. “Once they are fit and ready to run, a lot more has to do with their ability to run in general, and their ability to run that far, than any special training.”

Von Hemel indicated that Larue Lovelake may be more capable than her past performances indicate as she has had troubled trips both times she ran.

The pair will take on five others, including Smiles Ahead, who scored a nose victory in the Prairie Gold Juvenile for trainer Wilson Brown.

“I don’t know if he will like a mile or not, he came out of the other race good, and we are already here,” Brown said. “If you are going to test one, you might as well test them in a $60,000 stake.

“He might win, he might turn his tail up after the three-quarters. If he can run a mile, I’ll know at the end of the race.”

One entrant has already proven himself over a route of ground. The Kenny Smith-trained Wando Venture scored an impressive maiden win at Prairie Meadows going a mile on July 23. After a slow start he closed 11 lengths down the backstretch and handily drew off to win by 7 3/4 lengths.

◗ Trainer Gerald “Jack” Coatney died at age 76 on July 27 at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Coatney is survived by his wife Betty, and four children, Sam, Susie, Cheryl, and Lori. Coatney won more than 570 races and trained Dance On the Line, a Nebraska-based multiple stakes winner of over $180,000.