06/24/2008 11:00PM

Z Fortune class of derby field


ALTOONA, Iowa - While Friday night's $250,000 Iowa Derby lacks a prohibitive favorite, it offers plenty of intrigue.

Steve Asmussen will saddle Z Fortune, who is likely to be a lukewarm favorite on the basis of the company that he has kept. However, Z Fortune has not won since January and has been beaten in his last five starts. Locally based Maya's Storm has pointed to this

1 1/16-mile race all year long but will be taking a large jump in class, and the filly Day of Victory is entered in Friday's Iowa Oaks as well as the derby.

After reeling off three wins in a row to begin his career, including the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds, Z Fortune has failed to find the winner's circle. He finished second in the Risen Star Stakes, fifth in the Rebel, and second in the Arkansas Derby. After finishing 10th in the Kentucky Derby, Z Fortune finished third as the 8-5 favorite in the Ohio Derby on May 31. Shawn Bridgmohan, who last rode the colt in the Lecomte, has been named to ride Z Fortune on Friday. Z Fortune will wear blinkers for the first time in the Iowa Derby.

Maya's Storm tried two turns for the first time in his last outing and finished second by a neck in the $54,000 Prairie Mile. He appears ready for a big effort in this race.

"Maya's last out was a great learning experience," said trainer Kelly Von Hemel. "He was jostled around pretty good going into the clubhouse turn, and we feel this race will tell us a lot more about how good he is."

Richard Monterrey has a return mount aboard the Iowa-bred.

Trainer Robert Holthus has yet to decide where Day of Victory will run. Calvin Borel has been named to ride the filly, who was second in the Panthers Stakes to Iowa Oaks contender Rasierra on June 7.

Saylorville: Miss Macy Sue tops field

A field of 10 is entered in the Saylorville, a six-furlong stakes for fillies and mares. Leading the way is the locally based Miss Macy Sue, who ran third in the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare sprint last fall at Monmouth Park. Eddie Razo Jr., who rode the filly to a second-place finish in the Winning Colors at Churchill Downs in her last start, will be aboard.

Change Up also comes out of the Winning Colors, where she finished third, beaten only a head for second money. Jamie Theriot ships in to ride for trainer Steve Margolis.

Zanjero headlines Cornhusker

Prairie Meadows's signature race, the Grade 2, $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, will be on run on Saturday, the final night of the two-day Iowa Festival of Racing. Headlining the Cornhusker is Zanjero, who captured both the West Virginia and Indiana derbies last year. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Zanjero is in search of his first victory of the year. In all, more than $1.2 million will be on the line in this year's festival.