Prairie Meadows, Race 8, 10:20 P.M. ET

Race of the Day

Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Altoona, Iowa

Race 8, Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile 70 yards, Purse: $30K

A competitive group of maidens is slated for the 8th at Prairie Meadows Racetrack.  The M/L favorite is the entry of Be My Honeycomb/Robinwood (#1, 3/1).  Robinwood is the more impressive of the two, having run well at Oaklawn Park last time out.  He’s been given a brief rest — a good angle for trainer Doug Anderson and has a solid work tab coming into the race.  Pontiff (#4, 6-1) makes his second start of the long layoff and adds blinkers for trainer Kenneth Nolan.  He once ran in the Florida Derby against Derby winner Orb as a maiden.  His last race was productive, and he looms a very solid threat today.  Kerugma (#2, 7-2) draws the advantageous rail and has the speed to win.  Hook Em (#7, 8-1) and Sir Smart Alex (#9, 8-1) figure to be likely pace factors, but overall are a bit too slow.  Flat On (#5, 5-1) has potential, but faces some stiff competition in his first race.  Spotsback (#3, 5-1) stretches out for the first time in eleven lifetime starts.  He’s likely in here as a tune up for a return to maiden claiming sprints.


  1. Will Pontiff realize his early potential?  He has more raw potential than any horse in the race.  If he’s reaches it — something quite possible in his second start for Nolan — he will be tough to beat.
  2. How hot will the pace be?  There’s a bunch of speed on paper, especially with Pontiff adding blinkers.  This could favor Kerugma, but it is very hard to close at Prairie Meadows.
  3. Will Spotsback enjoy the stretchout?  It’s unlikely, but if he does, he could have an ideal pressing style to win.


Pontiff could very well offer some value, depending upon how much the public values the addition of blinkers.  I like him on top. There’s too much pace, however, to accept a short price. Outside of Pontiff, on paper it’s a three horse race with the entry and Kerugma rating good chances. Kerugma is plenty fast enough and could get a good trip. may offer still offer some good value.

We’ll take a deeper look at the odds during the livehost on Twitter @alldayracing at 10:20 P.M. ET.

Prairie Meadows, Allowance, 10:37 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, May 8, 2014

Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Altoona, Iowa, Race 8

10:37 PM EST, Allowance for non-winners of 2 lifetime. 1 Mile. Purse $30,500

Prairie Meadows Racetrack, an example of the racino vision at it finest, is our focus for their eighth race tonight.  I visited Prairie Meadows back in 2005, spending the night at a Holiday Inn near the track.  A racino is a combination of a casino and a racetrack, kind of a gambling free-for-all.  I was impressed. Beers were cheap, the weather was warm, and the casino was quite state-of-the art.  I won $20 playing Price is Right Slots.  It was a fun experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone, especially to local looking for a fun night.

Tonight’s race is the likeable “non-winners of two lifetime” allowance.  This differs from the slightly higher level “non-winners of one other than”allowances (n1x) which might include horses that have won plenty in the claiming or starter ranks.  This class of horses is likeable because it’s slightly easier than n1x, but this isn’t widely appreciated by the public.  So, often you can find a price on a subtle class drop.

The morning line favorite is Bruvver Max (#3, 9/5), a Kenny Smith trained/Terry Thompson piloted colt, who looked fantastic last time out. He cuts back in distance a small amount and drops from the N1X allowance.  He’ll likely face competition from Tap the Admiral (#1, 2/1), a Chris Richard second off the claim, who was just a bit slower than Bruvver Max last time out.


  1. Will Tap the Admiral improve — at least enough to turn the tables on Bruvver Max — with the added time in the Richard barn?
  2. Will that large effort hurt the form of Bruvver Max and Tap the Admiral? Will someone be able to capitalize?
  3. If not the top two, who will be a contender?


On paper, it looks like a two horse race between Bruvver Max and Tap the Admiral. Bruvver Max ran faster last race, but Tap the Admiral could improve and also has the benefit of the rail, especially beneficial with the short run to the turn at this distance.  Both are coming off big efforts and may be a little dull.  Those looking for alternatives should take a look at Sheriff Curly closed slightly into a slow pace to win here last month and doesn’t face the toughest field here.  I’d keep an eye on his price.  Riot Act — an Awesome Again gelding — will be routing for the first time under his new trainer.  An improvement is not out of the question, but probably would need the other three to falter to factor.  


Bruvver Max was not hurt by the large effort and maintained his form by winning convincingly by 9 1/4 lengths.  He dominated this group — Tap the Admiral fell off form and finished last and Sheriff Curly closed, but was too far back to make a difference.  I doubt it would have mattered — Bruvver Max was too good. Riot Act finished next to last and didn’t show much.

See you tomorrow!