Prayer For Relief takes the Cornhusker Handicap
Prayer For Relief (BetPTC.com Top Selection) proved too much for his rivals on Saturday night as he took the featured event of the Prairie Meadows season, the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap. Sent off as the 4/5 favorite, Prayer For Relief and Ricardo Santana sat in fifth early on as Silver Max and Taptowne (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went out and vied for the early lead. Prayer For Relief was given his cue on the far turn and he came bursting after his rivals, finally wearing down Taptowne in the final hundred yards to win going away by nearly two lengths. Taptowne was well clear of Silver Max who held onto the third position ahead of Nicklaus Way. In the Iowa Derby it was Looking Cool (BetPTC.com Longshot) who was 17/1 and flew home late to get up and score the upset win. Guided to the victory by Leandro Goncalves, Looking Cool rolled up past a stubborn Betweenhereandcool who had finally wore down race favorites Our Double Play (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Manando (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection). In the Iowa Oaks, Fiftyshadesofhay (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) proved much the best, dominating her rivals and picking up the win under jockey Martin Garcia. She was positioned beautifully early in the race by Garcia, as he overcame the ten hole post position. They took command in upper stretch and poured it on late to win by almost four lengths over Seaneen Girl (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who ran second at 6/1.
Friday night it was Gentlemen’s Bet (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and replacement rider David Mello who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the weekend, beating 1/5 favorite Delauney (BetPTC.com Top Selection) in the Iowa Sprint Handicap. Delauney broke very poorly, but came up to level terms and even put a head in front in mid-stretch. But Gentlemen’s Bet turned away that challenge and won going away at the end. Flashy American (BetPTC.com Top Selection) dominated the Iowa Distaff as she rolled to a convincing five and one half length victory over Magic Hour (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection). Livi McKenzie (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) took home the Saylorville Stakes, getting up to win by a length over Devious Intent.
Wise Dan finds room to win again at Churchill
Wise Dan had to wait quite a while, but once the defending Horse of the Year did, it was all over as he won his second consecutive Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs. Sent off at 1/5, Wise Dan (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and John Velazquez stayed glued to the hedge throughout the race, and from the five eighths pole to the quarter pole, they were completely blocked, and Wise Dan was keen to go on. Finally he got room, but Seruni kept him in very tight down on the hedge, and the champ had to dig in to finally spurt clear and win by two lengths over Lea (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran on for the place spot.
Debt Ceiling (BetPTC.com Longshot) put in a huge run in the Bashford Manor, as he made a monster move on the far turn, relishing the slop and drawing clear down the lane. Hollywood Talent (BetPTC.com Top Selection) finished up in second while long shot My Corinthian finished up in second. Right to Vote (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went all the way to win the Kelly’s Landing Stakes.
Centralintelligence dominates the Triple Bend at Hollywood
Centralintelligence scored the biggest win of his career as he powerhoused to a three and a half length win in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park. Sent off at odds of 8/1, Centralintelligence (BetPTC.com Longshot) sat a very nice stalking trip as Comma To The Top (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out and set the early pace, which was moderate and he received mild pressure from Cyclometer and Jimmy Creed who threw a shoe and faded late. Comma To The Top found another gear at the top of the stretch and opened a small lead in mid-stretch, but Centralintelligence and Victor Espinoza had all the momentum and drew away to win over Comma To The Top who finished second, a length ahead of Morning Line who ran a good race first time off the year layoff.
In the Shoemaker Mile, it was Obviously (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who looked like lone speed on paper, and proved as much, as he galloped around the track to win the Grade 1 event by three and a quarter lengths. Za Approval (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) made a good bid to get up into the second spot, but it was never really close as Joe Talamo had plenty of horse underneath him to get to the wire clear.