|TRIO OF LURCRATIVE GRADED RACES AT PRAIRIE
A big weekend of racing will be held at Prairie Meadows, led by a trio of Grade 3 events on Saturday. Dubbed the Iowa Festival of Racing, this is the signature two days of the meeting with fine horses on the grounds. Grade 2 winner Successful Dan is likely to lead the field in the $300,000 Cornhusker H. (G3) for trainer Charles Lopresti. The talented six-year-old has returned from a lengthy break in fine form, bagging two races in succession including the Alysheba S. (G2) at Churchill Downs, and is the one to beat in this one. He’s trained well leading up to this.
Also possible for this race is the Bob Baffert-conditioned Prayer for Relief, who returns to the dirt following running on the synthetic out west. The four-year-old has placed in two straight graded races in advance of this and had good success shipping last campaign. The much improved Fort Larned, eighth in the Stephen Foster (G1) last time, and Clark H. (G1) sixth Headache are also signed on for this nine furlong event.
The $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) is expected to be a loaded race for three-year-old stars, led by champion Hansen. The son of Tapit has been shelved since tiring at ten panels in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but returns to a better trip in here and looms large for conditioner Mike Maker. Unbeaten at 1 1/16 miles, the nearly white colt will surely be in the mix early in here.
His possible foes include multiple stakes hero Daddy Nose Best, Belmont S. (G1) eighth My Adonis, the Baffert-trained Gun Boat, and either Belmont third Atigun or sixth Unstoppable U, from the barn of Kenny McPeek.
Among the top draws possible for the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) are multiple graded queen On Fire Baby, who was fourth in the Acorn S. (G1) last time, and Amie’s Dini, unplaced in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in her latest venture.
Friday’s card includes the $125,000 Iowa Sprint H., $100,000 Iowa Distaff S. and the $100,000 Saylorville S.