09/21/2005 11:00PM

Wayzata Bay's class stands out in derby


Wayzata Bay and Yak the Desert Rat lead a field of six 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby, the closing-day feature of the mixed meeting.

Wayzata Bay has kept the best company of any of the entrants in the 1 1/16-mile derby, winning the Prairie Mile in June and finishing fourth, beaten less than four lengths, in the $250,000 Iowa Derby on July 1.

In his most recent start, Wayzata Bay rallied to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths, after having to wait for racing room in upper stretch in the mile-and-70-yard Minneapolis at Canterbury on Sept. 5.

Judi Hicklin trains Wayzata Bay, a confirmed closer who will be reunited with jockey Cindy Noll.

Yak the Desert Rat, undefeated in three starts, will be facing stakes company for the first time.

Trained by Ray Tracy, Yak the Desert Rat won his maiden going six furlongs on May 29 and returned less than two weeks later to score a gate-to-wire victory against entry-level allowance rivals going a mile and 70 yards.

Following an 11-week layoff, Yak the Desert Rat returned to the races on Sept. 1 at Prairie Meadows and drew off for an easy 3 1/2-length victory over allowance company going a mile. Terry Thompson has a return call on Yak the Desert Rat, who figures to be on or near the lead.