Jeral Keith Adams’ REMEMBERING RITA bided his time in second as Dalmore set the pace in Friday’s $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) on the second night of the Festival of Racing. With jockey Alex Birzer aboard, the four-year-old took over in the stretch and drew off over the fast Prairie Meadows dirt to upset the nine-furlong affair as the 19-1 second longest shot on the board.
Dalmore posted splits of :24.24, :48.98 and 1:12.65 but couldn’t hold off Remembering Rita, finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind in second. It was another three parts of a length back to 7-5 favorite McCraken, who in turn had his neck in front of Thirstforlife on the wire. Matrooh just missed fourth by a nose while keeping his neck in front of Hence to take fifth. Irish Freedom completed the order under the wire after Krewe Chief stumbled and lost his rider at the start.
Remembering Rita paid $41.60 for stopping the clock in 1:49.36. The bay son of Spring at Last captured his last two starts by a combined 22 lengths for trainer Doug Anderson, and now shows an 11-3-1-4 scorecard to go along with $254,946.
Bred in Kentucky by Dapple Bloodstock and Lisa McNamara, Remembering Rita is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Deep South. This is the same female family as Stormy Liberal, who upset last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at 30-1. Remembering Rita’s fourth dam is Luv Luvin’, from whom is descended numerous Grade/Group 1 winners.
Earlier on Prairie Meadows’ program, Shortleaf Stable Inc.’s HIGH NORTH lived up to his 2-1 favoritism posting a half-length win in the $250,000 Iowa Derby with jockey Florent Geroux holding the reins for trainer Brad Cox. Fourth in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) last out, the Midnight Lute sophomore covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.35. He now boasts a 3-1-0 scorecard from nine starts and $335,850 in lifetime earnings.
Sierra Farm’s homebred DONE DEAL stalked the pacesetter through the opening half-mile of the $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap, took over at the three-sixteenths pole and drew off by four lengths to take his stakes debut in a final time of 1:10.67 for six furlongs. Ridden by jockey Chris Landeros and trained by Ian Wilkes, the Macho Uno gelding earned his fourth straight victory to improve his career record to 7-4-0-2, $141,750.
In the $94,300 Iowa Stallion Futurity, Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s SUBSTITUTION rallied four wide to score by a neck under jockey Robby Albarado. The Kelly Von Hemel-trained juvenile is now a perfect two-for-two, having captured his maiden debut by 1 1/4 lengths on June 22, and has banked $81,891. The Alternation colt ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.89.