Racing Dudes Pick: #3 Speedacious
Racing Dudes Value Play: #2 Sakakawea
Analysis: The Iowa Festival of Racing kicks off with what should be an ultra competitive sprint Stakes for older fillies and mares. Our top pick will the Bret Calhoun shipper, Speedacious (LA). Speedacious comes into the race off a solid third place effort in the Grade 3 winning colors at Churchill Downs. This past weekend the fourth place finisher of that race, Gleaming, came back to win a stakes at Delaware Park. If Speedacious was to falter, the race could come down between two familiar rivals in Starlite Starbrite (KY) and Salty Strike (KY). These two squared off in the Prairie Rose Stakes last time out, with Salty Strike winning by the slimmest of margins in a photo finish. Our value pick, Sakakawea (IA), has won ten of twelve races at Prairie Meadows but all of them have been against State Bred competition. She’s still worth a look though, as her form has been extremely solid at the meet. Eric Reed has entered three in the race with Street Mate (VA), Dontbeshy I’ll Buy (KY), and Elle Special (KY). Out of those three, Dontbeshy I’ll Buy seems like the most likely one to make an impact on the race. Rounding out the field is Yournotthebossofme (KY) who finished third in the Prairie Rose Stakes.
Iowa Distaff Stakes
Racing Dudes Pick: #4 Sterling Madame
Racing Dudes Value Play: #6 Brushed by a Star
Analysis: This one certainly looks like a three-horse race between Sterling Madame (KY), Another World (KY), and Brushed by a Star (KY). We settled with Sterling Madame because of her huge effort in the Wild Rose Stakes here at Prairie Meadows last time out. She won the race wire to wire by twelve lengths. The track was definitely favoring speed that night, but the performance was still a dominant one. Another World was the second place finisher in that race, and we look for her to come back strong and make this one much closer. Her chances were pretty much ruined by the track last time out, as she does her best running late. Brushed by a Star is one you have to take seriously as well. She’s our value pick, but to be honest she was almost our top choice. She beat the boys last time out at Churchill, winning wire to wire at the same distance she’ll be running at in this one. Corey Nakatani will come in to ride, which is also a good sign. Rounding out the field is the Randy Morse trained Bekat Bekat (KY), and two Iowa Bred: Someplace Else (IA) and Bella Road (IA). All three of these runners looks evenly matched so if the top three fail to run decent, any of these have a great shot to hit the board.
Iowa Sprint Handicap
Racing Dudes Pick: #3 Rothko
Racing Dudes Value Play: #6 Humble Smarty
Analysis: On paper this certainly looks to be a one horse race, as Rothko (KY) really stands out over the others. He was a winner last time out in the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs. That win serves as the only Graded Stakes win among the field, excluding Noble’s Promise (KY) who is very likely to scratch out of this race. If Rothko runs his best race there is no way anyone in this field can take him down. If he was to falter, Capt. Bullet Bob (IL) looks to be a solid choice. He’s coming off a big State Bred Stakes win at Arlington, and always seems to run a solid race. Humble Smarty (AR) is our value pick, and like Capt. Bullet Bob, he usually shows up with a decent effort. If Rothko were to bounce, either of these two horses are logical picks but you’ll get a better price on Humble Smarty. Also in the field are Warning Song (KY), Flat Black (KY), and Wiredfortwotwenty (KY). Out of those three, we like Wiredfortwotwenty the best. His return from a year long layoff last time out was solid, as he finished a decent third in the Prairie Express Stakes. Logic tells you he should improve off that performance.