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Iowa Derby Preview: Snow House Steps Up
Snow House winning at Churchill Downs (Credit: Coady Photography)

Iowa Derby Preview: Snow House Steps Up

ALTOONA, IA – Riding a 2-race win streak, Juddmonte Farms homebred Snow House steps up to the stakes ranks for the first time in Friday’s $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.

The Iowa Derby is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-olds. This year’s edition is the sixth event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 9:12 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Iowa Derby:

1. Proxy 4/1 – Once a top contender on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, he was a disappointing fourth in both the Louisiana Derby (G2) and the Lexington Stakes (G3) in what were his only 2 starts to date wearing blinkers. He returns from a 2 1/2-month freshening for trainer Mike Stidham seeking to reverse his recent slide while keeping the hood and carrying a field-low 113 pounds (high weight is 122).

2. Super Stock 7/2 – The Arkansas Derby (G1) champion should appreciate getting back to a dry racing surface after finishing fourth in the sloppy (sealed) Texas Derby aiming for his first victory in 5 tries at this distance. Trainer Steve Asmussen convinced his stable’s top rider Ricardo Santana Jr. to travel in for the mount as the barn aims for its record-tying fourth race title and the jockey’s first.

3. Bourbon Thunder 15/1 – The Ian Wilkes trainee’s stakes debut coincides with his first try tackling two turns on dirt, having compiled a record of 5-2-0-1 sprinting on the main track. He broke his maiden going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park, though that came while carrying a $35k tag, and he was most recently a well-beaten third behind Snow House over the same track setup at Churchill Downs.

4. Flash of Mischief 8/1 – The Karl Broberg trainee saw his 3-race win streak snapped last time out when he missed winning the local Prairie Mile Stakes by a neck. He won a muddy edition of the 6-furlong Golden Circle Stakes here 2 starts back and retains the riding services of Edwin Gonzalez for the third straight event. Broberg and Gonzalez have won 26% of their shared mounts since 2020.

5. Stilleto Boy 12/1 – After coming close to winning each of his first 3 starts, all dirt sprints, he took a big step forward when stretching out to routing, finishing second by a nose going a mile before dominating next out at 1 1/16 miles. Unlike in those 2 starts, however, he failed to set the early pace in the Prairie Mile and finished a well-beaten fourth, so expect to see him run more forwardly placed here.

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6. Rightandjust 6/1 – He gives stakes company a fourth try after hitting the board for the first time in the Texas Derby last time out, finishing third. He won all 3 career non-stakes dirt route attempts by open lengths but was well-beaten in both the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and the Louisiana Derby. He fired a bullet best-of-20 4-furlong work in :47.80 during his final preparations for this event.

7. Gagetown 6/1 – He rallied to overtake Flash of Mischief late and neck out his inaugural stakes score in the Prairie Mile last time out, bringing about his first victory since breaking his maiden on debut last November. Trainer Brad Cox began the meet hot (5-3-1-1 record through Monday) and attracted Florent Geroux to ride for the sixth time. Cox and Geroux teamed up to win this race in 2018.

8. Snow House 8/1 – After finishing fourth on debut in a turf mile at Fair Grounds, Cox’s second entry broke through with a gate-to-wire score in an off-turf mile route at Keeneland. He then repeated his success in a one-turn Churchill Downs mile with an impressive front-running effort despite being buried inside rivals in his first test against winners. Jockey Joel Rosario (37% win rate with Cox) rides.

9. Nova Rags 5/1 – He kicked off 2021 winning the 7-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs but failed to repeat that success in 4 subsequent starts, all against graded stakes rivals and including running third in the 7-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) last time out. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott won last year’s edition with Acre after the original winner was disqualified for interference.

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