Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Iowa Festival of Racing - The Selections

Fiftyshadesofhay wins 2013 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club



Race 6 – Saylorville Stakes, 8:46 p.m.

The Iowa Festival of Racing kicks off with a field of six fillies and mares going six furlongs. Off a sharp win in which she upset the highly regarded Judy the Beauty in the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs, Beat the Blues rates a solid favorite in here. The six-year-old Bret Calhoun trainee has an excellent 10-of-24 lifetime mark, has a win over the Prairie Meadows strip, and is likely coming off the race of her life. Of the others, Lulu Wong and Livi Makenzie figure to keep each other busy with fast early fractions, which should help things up nicely for the favorite, and perhaps allow Devious Intent and Rosie Napravnik to pick up second place money.

1 - Beat the Blues / 2- Devious Intent 

***Beat the Blues has been scratched ... Devious Intent has become the top selection over Livi Makenzie*** 

Race 7 – Iowa Distaff, 9:18 p.m.

In perhaps the weakest of the six stakes races over the two-evening festival, a field of seven fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles. Favoritism should fall to Flashy American off an open lengths win in an optional claimer in Louisville last time. She’s never even been in a stakes race before, so I will try to beat the chalk in this one. With a strong early pace assured by the three-year-old, Cruzette, this race could be set up for a rally more so than the majority of races run at Prairie Meadows. At 12-1 on the morning line, Itsabeautifulthing might be the one to take advantage. 3-for-5 lifetime on the dirt, the daughter of Henny Hughes was behind tedious fractions in the prep for this, and not surprisingly, suffered to a 4th place finish. With a different pace scenario tomorrow night, look for her to run a much improved effort, which could well be enough to beat these.

 1 - Itsabeautifulthing / 2- Cruzette

Race 8 – Iowa Sprint Handicap, 9:50 p.m.

What the night’s headliner lacks in size it makes up for with pure sprinting power. While all five horses in the field are fast hombres, two of them stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. We all know the heavy favorite, Delaunay. The winner of six straight sprint stakes, all in impressive fashion, it would be no stretch to call the Maggi Moss runner the best sprinter in America right now. Having said that, there is a new kid on the block who may be ready to also move into the nation’s elite. Not quite ready for prime time this spring, Gentlemen’s Bet rebounded from his only career loss with a dazzling display last time at Churchill Downs in which he bettered the 1:08 barrier for six furlongs. He’ll get six pounds from Delaunay in the Iowa Sprint, and if he can get the jump on him at the top of the stretch, he may just be long gone. He’s worth a shot considering the odds difference in the two.  

1 - Gentlemen’s Bet / 2- Delaunay


Race 6 – Iowa Oaks (G3), 8:46 p.m.

Get ready for the Baffert brigade. Fiftyshadesofhay had every reason to lose the Black-Eyed Susan last time, a little too far off a slow early pace, and then needing to alter course in the stretch, but her late acceleration to nail Marathon Lady was nothing but impressive. Her outside post position of ten, is the only thing I see slowing her down on Saturday, but look for Martin Garcia to find good position early on the way to another graded stakes victory. Of the rest, So Many Ways is the class, but is likely better suited for one-turn. Meanwhile, back on dirt, Hitechnoweenie has looked very good winning her last pair for trainer, Kenny McPeek, and is coming off a nice win over the track. Like the top pick, she has enough tactical speed to find a good spot in the early going.  

1 - Fiftyshadesofhay / 2- Hitechnoweenie

Race 7 – Iowa Derby (G3), 9:18 p.m.

In the Iowa Derby, the two main speed horses, Manando and Our Double Play, are also the two race favorites. Of the pair, I like the Baffert runner, Manando quite a bit more. Having run consistently against good horses in California, the son of Bluegrass Cat should actually find the competition in the Iowa Derby to be a little light. Provided he does not get into a suicidal pace duel under Martin Garcia, he looms the one to beat. Be that as it may, with a record of only 2-of-9 lifetime, he is certainly beatable. Not really liking the horses who have had stakes experience already, I am looking for the rapidly improving Betweenhereandcool to be the top threat to Baffert’s charge. Since leaving California, the son of Unbridled’s Song has run three sharp races for Steve Asmussen, with each one better than the last. In his latest, he beat some nice horses in good fashion last time at Churchill Downs.  

1 - Manando / 2- Betweenhereandcool

Race 8 – Prairie Meadows Cornhusker (GIII), 9:50 p.m.

With plenty of early speed lining up for the Festival’s final and richest race, I am looking for an upsetter to be there to pick up the pieces. Ian Wilkes has Nicklaus Way developing into a nice older horse, who could well be on the verge of a breakout performance on Saturday night. After switching back to dirt, he won three straight before moving up into the big leagues. Although winless in his last three starts, Nicklaus Way has run some sneaky good races that should keep his odds favorable for the Cornhusker. While Silver Max, Taptowne, and Prayer For Relief are needing to keep track of each other early, look for the four-year-old son of Bluegrass Cat to sit a perfect trip before uncoiling his run of the far turn.  

1 - Nicklaus Way / 2- Prayer For Relief 


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Older Comments about Iowa Festival of Racing - The Selections...

Anyone looking at Red Lead in the Cornhusker?
so icy you implicated rosie on another horse. 2 sprint races,where it is paramount you get out of the gate fast and clean.both horses did not have a history of being bad gate horses.yet on bot, a half hour apart. rosie gets left at the gate. as far as rosie winning the oaks. i think a little credit should be given to the filly. she was giant that day.rosie is a good jock. she is a good story ,so people tend to over rate her. she is starting to become a 2nd version of Bejarano. can't break horses in the big races. that is why raffie lost his mount on Game On Dude and many others. that is why baffert should seriously consider her as the jock for midnight lucky. in her last race at a mile. she stood head and shoulders abbove the field. close hatches was not going to beat her at a milee,and katie is nothing more than a good sprinter.regardless if midnight goes in the test or the alabama.if i were him, i would not feel comfortable with her holding the reins
FAMILY FIRST- The trainer Thomas Amoss was conspicuous in his absence when Mylute arrived at Pimlico Race Course on Wednesday after being shipped from Churchill Downs. As much as the Preakness means to him, Amoss had greater priorities. While the assistant trainer Maurice Sanchez oversaw Mylute, Amoss and his wife, Colleen, spent time with their daughters, Ashley and Hayley, before attending Ashley’s graduation ceremony at Louisiana State, where she majored in journalism. “On a professional level, this is exciting for me,” Amoss said of the middle leg of the Triple Crown. “On a personal level, my daughter’s graduation from college is a proud moment I would not have missed, no matter what. Napravnik, now 25, went on to win more than 1,500 races and $49 million in purse money. She became the first female jockey to take the Kentucky Oaks when the aptly named Believe You Can reached the winner’s circle last year, and she recorded the highest finish by a woman in the Kentucky Derby when Mylute finished fifth two weeks ago. She again raised the bar for women in the Preakness, guiding Mylute home in third. .” As for devious intent this is the account by the DRF and Equibase chart. DEVIOUS INTENT stumbled at the start, settled well,lodged a bid on the turn,moved four wide into the stretch and finished willingly. "http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/sports/fans-take-the-tightened-security-at-pimlico-in-stride.html?_r=0
Great call on Gentlemen's Bet & Itsabeautifulthing was so so close to landing in the exacta.
if tom amoss was upset with rosies ride in the preakness with mylute,he will be doing cartwheels over her ride tonight aboard delauney. got compltely left in a 5 horse field against bums. she rushed up wide and got beat. way to go rosie.looks like you will be losing another mount.bullet bob baffert,are you watching. better get a serious rider on midnight lucky.
***Beat the Blues has been scratched ... Devious Intent has become the top selection over Livi Makenzie***
Totally agree at the moment.
I love Itsabeautifulthing as a sneaky longshot in a night that looks like it will be dominated by low prices.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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