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Little Miss Holly takes Iowa Oaks

Conducted over a fast surface, despite earlier rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in the high 60s, the concluding night of the Prairie Meadows Iowa Festival of Racing brought forth competitive renewals of the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks and Grade 3, $250,000 Iowa Derby.

The Iowa Oaks, which featured six 3-year-old fillies and an overwhelming 1-2 favorite in Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Daisy Devine, was taken convincingly by Gold Square’s Little Miss Holly, who is based at Churchill Downs with trainer Steve Margolis.

Handled confidently by jockey Corey Lanerie, in his lone mount of the Festival, Little Miss Holly, a daughter of Maria’s Mon, kicked clear entering the stretch and was chased home by the 4-1 Donnie K. Von Hemel-trainee Hearts on Fire. Stopping the clock in 1:43.66 for the 1 1/16 miles, Little Miss Holly was never threatened after striking the front and won by two lengths.
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