Iowa Derby and Oaks Highlight Festival at Prairie Meadows

The signature weekend of racing at Prairie Meadows is upon us, with a six-pack of big stakes races to be held over Friday and Saturday dubbed the Festival of Racing. Saturday’s card will play host to a trio of graded events, including the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) for sophomores. Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Vicar’s In Trouble could be the one to beat if he goes here for Mike Maker. The dark bay son of Into Mischief didn’t fire in the Kentucky Derby but was very sharp prior to that, and we like that he has been freshened up for this event.

The top three from the local prep, the Prairie Mile, Jessica’s Star, Tairneach and Smack Smack, could all go in this lucrative event. Other possible are Sir Barton S. third Six Spot, Bluegrass S. (G1) third Pablo del Monte and Illinois Derby (G3) victor Dynamic Impact.

Also on Saturday are the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) and the $300,000 Cornhusker S. (G3).

Friday night will be a good one at Prairie, too, with the $125,000 Iowa Sprint H., $100,000 Iowa Distaff and the $100,000 Saylorville S. on tap.


A pair of graded races will highlight the weekend of racing under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. The $200,000 Firecracker S. (G2) is for some of the better milers on the turf on the grounds and will be led by Silver Max, the last horse to have defeated living-legend Wise Dan. The Dale Romans charge has a ton of speed and will likely dare his foes to come and catch him.

The $100,000 Bashford Manor S. (G3) for the juveniles is also to be contested on Saturday, and trainer Bret Calhoun might have a live one with sharp maiden winner Silverhill.