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Prairie Meadows Kicks Off Season Friday Night

Prairie Meadows Kicks Off Season Friday Night

Prairie Meadows will kick off its 24th year of racing with a 66-day meet this Friday night. The Des Moines, Iowa oval will run four days a week with a 6:30 PM post time Thursday through Saturday and Sunday racing will commence at 1 PM.

Regular jockeys Terry Thompson and Alex Birzer should vie for top rider. Trainers Chris Richard, Chris Hartman and local horseman, Dick Clark will contend for leading trainer. Chip Woolley Jr., trainer of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, will also have a string of runners. Richard’s biggest client, Des Moines native Maggi Moss, will attempt to win her record-setting 11th owner's title.

The meet is highlighted by the Iowa Festival of Racing (June 28 & 29) with the Iowa Derby, Oaks, Distaff, Sprint and Cornhusker Handicap. Last year, Fort Larned defeated Successful Dan in the Cornhusker before victories in the Whitney Handicap and Breeders’ Cup Classic. Even the 2011 2-year-old champion, Hansen, made the trip north to take the Iowa Derby in blowout fashion.

Moss’s big horses, Delaunay and So Many Ways, have bigger goals in the immediate future, but she “would love to see both of them here for our big races. “ Delaunay is scheduled to make his next start on Derby day in the G2 Churchill Downs Handicap, and So Many Ways “might” make her next start in the G3 Eight Belles Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

For racing fans that do not follow the action at Prairie Meadows, it is a 1-mile dirt oval with no turf racing. The track most resembles Monmouth Park with sizzling summer temperatures and race times. Just like Monmouth Park, horses on the inside part of the track with early speed dominate most days.

Another plus for fans of racing in the Hawkeye state are the low takeouts. Prairie Meadows offers a 50-cent pick 5, 2 50-cent pick fours with a low 15-percent takeout on every card and is still one of the only states where the minimum show payoff is $2.20, making it a popular track for “bridge jumpers.”

Though Prairie Meadows is a racino with slot machines, table games and a poker room, it is quite fan friendly that is welcoming to families. The paddock area provides up close views as horses get saddled and the track apron has a plethora of tables, food vendors and a spacious play area for children making it a great location to bring the family for an entertaining evening of high-quality racing. 


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Older Comments about Prairie Meadows Kicks Off Season Friday Night...

I look forward to being there for the Festival of Racing ... Will I see you there, Jasen?
  • Capper · I will be there, but I'm not going to make it up to Hawthorne for the Illinois Derby. · 905 days ago
Larer fields insure bigger payouts. This Oaklawn, Canterbury, Woodbine, Evangeline and Tampa all have this wonderful thing in common.

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