Photo: Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Bob Baffert has a habit of shipping horses around the
country to scoop up big pots, and Saturday night was no different at Prairie Meadows. Black Eyed
Susan winner, Fiftyshadesofhay ($4.60) won the Iowa Oaks (G3) and took home the
lion’s share of the $200,000 purse for 3-year-old fillies. Breaking alertly from
the extreme outside, jockey Martin Garcia got the daughter of Pulpit in a good ground
saving position sitting just off the flank of Grade 1 winner So Many Ways.
Entering the far turn Fiftyshadesofhay engaged So Many Ways,
took the lead turning for home and was never challenged down to the wire, checking in a 3 ½ length winner. Seaneen Girl rallied late to grab place, while the early leader So Many Ways held show.
In a night dominated by short prices, Looking Cool rallied
late to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) at 17-1. Former assistant to listed
trainer Carl Nafzger, Ian Wilkes saddled the winner for owner Jim Tafel. The
3-year-old of Candy Ride rallied from well of the pace set by favorites Our
Double Play and Manando. The Steve Asmussen trained Betweenhereandcool took the
lead in midstretch but was overtaken in the shadow of the wire. Well behind in
the early stages, Bashaar closed latest of all to grab third.
In the richest race of the night, Prayer for Relief ($3.80) ran
his record at Prairie Meadows to a perfect 2-for-2 when capturing the $300,000
Cornhusker Handicap (G3) for owner Zayat Stables, LLC and trainer Steve
Asmussen. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. had the 5-year-old son of Jump Start in
the garden spot laying third behind Silver Max and Taptowne and he wore down
the his rivals to take home $180,000 for his efforts. Early pace setter and
multiple stakes winner on grass, Silver Max held for show.