Favorites Rule Iowa Champions Night

Jockey Stormy Smith and trainer Brent Clay have big night at Prairie Meadows.

October 27, 2012

On the night before the Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships, Prairie Meadows showcased the best of the Hawkeye State with Iowa Champions Night on Friday. The card featured six stakes for Iowa-bred or Iowa-sired horses, plus the Q-Racing Video Distance Stakes as part of the Challenge Championships undercard. The track’s leading rider, Stormy Smith, had a big night with four stakes winners, three coming for trainer Brent Clay, and favorites prevailed in six of the seven stakes.

In the lone graded stakes on the card, the $67,500 Terrace Hill Stakes (RG3), heavy favorite Iris Cartelsbadnews drew clear to win by 1 ¼ lengths at odds of 2-5. The 5-year-old gelding by Agouti earned his eighth career victory for breeder and owner Warren Garrels as the Amy Wessels trainee ran 400 yards in :19.686 with Berkley Packer aboard. Iris Cartelsbadnews extended his win streak to four and finished the Prairie Meadows meet undefeated with a pair of allowance wins and a victory in the Two Rivers Stakes (G3) in addition to the Terrace Hill. All told, the gelding has won eight of 14 career starts with earnings of $181,328

Brent and Karen Clay’s Shake Em Streakin, a gelding by Shake Em Open and a four-time winner at the track, finished a clear second with Kay Sage’s Wheres Your Wagon, by PYC Paint Your Wagon, in third.

In the $51,850 Iowa Stallion Futurity (R), 6-5 favorite Immahotdude scored a half-length victory with Doug Frink in the irons for trainer Tony Jones and owner Zach Madden. The gelding by Hot Shot Dash sprinted 350 yards in :17.842 to pick up his third victory in four career starts and his first stakes win. Larry and Regina Wessels bred Immahotdude in Iowa out of the Shake Em Open mare Lews Little Shakem. His earnings now stand at $39,297.

Clarina Rohweder’s filly MCR Abbey Rose gave sire Hot Shot Dash a sweep of the exacta by finishing second. TRS Justamazingpadon, by Just Amazing Jess out of a daughter of Hot Shot Dash, took third for breeder and owner Vernon Hammes.

The $67,200 Future of Iowa Stakes (R) for fillies and mares went to favored Jess A Lil Twisted, who dominated the field by two lengths with a 350-yard clocking in :17.351. Stormy Smith piloted the Jess Louisiana Blue filly for breeder/owner Sheri Lynn Andrew and conditioner Brent Clay. This marked the first career stakes win for Jess A Lil Twisted, who finished second in last year’s Jim Bader Futurity (R) and has now earned $75,207 with a record of 8-3-2-0.

The Regal Streak, a daughter of A Regal Choice running for Michael Ahern, closed to take second with TRS A Classy Dash, by Hot Shot Dash, in third for breeder/owner Vernon Hammes.

Yet another favorite prevailed in the $25,000 Q-Racing Video Distance Stakes as Nancy Yearsley and J. Garvan Kelly’s homebred Free Stater grabbed an early lead and never gave it up before hitting the wire in 2 ¼ lengths in front in :45.932 for 870 yards. Stormy Smith picked up the victory for trainer Charley Hunt. Free Stater, a 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding by Separatist, had placed in two stakes earlier this year before recording his first stakes victory in this race. He improved his record to 18-4-6-1 with earnings of $59,205.

Donald Davidson Jr.’s Snow Kan, a gelding by Royal Evening Snow stepping up in class after a claiming race victory, closed well to take second. Jack Jessee, a Jesses Sixes gelding making his 870-yard debut for owner Tom Maher, took third.

Stallion Hot Shot Dash scored another winner on the night in the $39,000 Iowa Stallion Derby (R) with 1-2 favorite Yougottobekiddinme. Running for breeder, owner and trainer Tony Jones, the brown gelding shot to the lead and won by 1 ¾-lengths in :20.263 for 400 yards with Berkley Packer aboard. Yougottobekiddinme also won last year’s Iowa Stallion Futurity and is now a winner of four of nine starts with earnings of $73,698.

Vernon Hammes’ homebred TRS Bootscootn Skirt, by Skirt Chasin Alibi, got up to grab second with the Hot Shot Dash gelding Hot Shot Junior in third for owner Refugio Dominguez.

Stormy Smith and Brent Clay teamed again in the $94,400 Polk County Derby (R) with 2-5 favorite Eufaula Me, who won by two lengths in :19.753 for 400 yards. Bred by Sheri Lynn Andrew and owned by John Lawless, the gelding by Okey Dokey dale captured his third career stakes win and increased his earnings to $198,689. The Iowa-bred won the restricted Jim Bader Futurity and Iowa Double Gold Futurity and has placed in the open Oklahoma Derby and Altoona Derby (G3).

Craig Kirby’s Brimmin, by Brimmerton, closed to take second-place money with Count The Menace, a gelding by Executive Menace, in third for owners Charlton and Starlet Hunt.

The richest race of the night, the $128,500 Jim Bader Futurity (R), was not won by the favorite but the result was still not a surprise as second-favorite Tellher To Fly gave jockey Stormy Smith his fourth stakes win on the card and trainer Brent Clay his third. Bred and owned by Robert and Sandra Brown, Tellher To Fly turned on the tables on Catchin Fire, who had defeated her in the trials. Tellher To Fly, a filly by Teller Cartel, scored by a half-length in a time of :17.832 for 350 yards. The filly has won three of her four career starts for earnings of $72,757.

Fastest qualifier and 7-10 favorite Catchin Fire, a daughter of Chicks A Blazin who won the Iowa QHRA Fall Sale Futurity (R) earlier in the meet, put in a game effort to finish second for owner Tom Lepic. TCF New Love, a Rare News filly running for John Lawless, had an early lead and held third.