The Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association has named its champion horses for the 2019 season at Prairie Meadows, honoring the on-track accomplishments of six thoroughbreds that enjoyed success during the 30th anniversary season of live horse racing in Altoona, IA.
The Allen Poindexter owned-and-bred Kauai was a double winner in 2019, earning recognition as the ITBOA champion three-year-old colt/gelding of the season and ITBOA Horse of the Year. The gelded son of Girolamo – Gizzy (Malabar Gold) competed six times at Prairie Meadows in 2019, winning three races, finishing second twice, and third once for a perfect 100% in-the-money rate.
Kauai capped his season for Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Lynn Chleborad with a victory over five rivals in the $102,500 Iowa Breeders' Derby on Iowa Classic Day September 2. Kauai, under leading rider Ramon Vazquez, was almost four lengths ahead of runner-up Uncle Chad when he crossed the finish line in a time of 1:43.79 for the mile and one-sixteenth distance.
The gelding earned $167,530 from his half dozen outings over the Altoona oval, running his Iowa earnings to $201,064 and his lifetime earnings to $202,073.
“I was thrilled with his efforts in 2019,” said Allen Poindexter. “I expected that he would run better as the distances increased, and that's exactly what happened last season.”
Poindexter noted that he turned out all of his Iowa-breds when the 2019 meet ended at Prairie Meadows, with plans to bring them back for the 2020 season in the Hawkeye state.
“Kauai is stabled at Oaklawn Park right now,” explained Poindexter. “He's had three easy workouts in Hot Springs and our plans are to have a solid foundation of works and/or races under him when the new season starts at Prairie Meadows.”
Another talented Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC runner, Flat Out Speed, bred by Poindexter and Wynnstay LLC, emerged as the ITBOA champion two-year-old filly of 2019, compiling a perfect three-for-three record and earning $134,654 in her debut season.
The daughter of Flat Out – Blue Gallina (Street Sense) made her first start on June 14, 2019. She won by three-quarters of a length in an abbreviated sprint at four and one-half furlongs. Stretching out to six furlongs on July 26, Flat Out Speed was ignored in the wagering at 9-1 as she ran off to a three-length victory in the $79,000 Prairie Gold Lassie. Regular rider Alex Canchari guided her to a third straight victory in the $92,375 Iowa Sorority on Iowa Classic Day as Flat Out Speed ran down stablemate Kahului in the final sixteenth of a mile.
“She's just a really nice horse,” Canchari noted that day. “I was pretty sure we could catch Kahului, but my filly ran a little greenly down the stretch. She was looking at the other horse, but once she got in front, I hand-rode her the rest of the way.”
Flat Out Speed is also stabled at Oaklawn Park and Poindexter indicated the plans are to wait for the Arkansas oval to be fast in the morning, get a first workout in the books, and then schedule 1-2 races in Arkansas in preparation for the filly's three-year-old campaign at Prairie Meadows.
The gelding Chacha Real Smooth, owned by the River Ridge Ranch LLC of Prairie Meadows Hall of Famer Sandra Rasmussen, recorded back-to-back victories in his final two races of last season, including the $92,375 Iowa Cradle on Iowa Classic Day, to collect honors as the ITBOA champion two-year-old colt/gelding of 2019. The son of Palace – Is It True Ma'am (Yes it's True), bred by the DNAce Thoroughbreds, scored a one-length victory for River Ridge Ranch and trainer Gene Jacquot in the Iowa Cradle, earning $48,000 and upping his lifetime earnings to $81,542 from three starts in Iowa.
Per River Ridge Ranch farm manager Doug Vail, Chacha Real Smooth is in training at the Red Earth Training Center in Oklahoma as he prepares for his three-year-old year at Prairie Meadows.
Snapy Gal recorded three wins from seven starts at Prairie Meadows last season for owner/trainer Travis Murphy, and was recognized as the ITBOA champion three-year-old filly of 2019. The daughter of Snapy Halo (ARG) – Bangle Girls (Got The Last Laugh), bred by Hi Temp Horses & Cattle, won her first two starts of the season by wide margins under jockey Ken Tohill.
After two thirds, a second, and a fourth-place finish, Snapy Gal was flying a bit under the radar when she went to the starting gate in the $102,500 Iowa Breeders' Oaks on Iowa Classic Day. But she led almost every step of the way, hitting the finish line four lengths in front of runner-up Zofia, earning $60,300, and increasing her Iowa earnings for the year to $134,819.
Snapy Gal, turned out shortly after her September 2 victory, is being prepped for her 2020 Prairie Meadows campaign at Travis Murphy's training facility near Remington Park.
Two Prairie Meadows veterans competing as four-year-olds in 2019, Minecraft Maniac and Hello Darling, earned honors as the top older horses of the season.
Minecraft Maniac (Midshipman – Our Sweet Mary B by Officer), scored four wins from six starts for owner-breeder Warren Bush and trainer Doug Anderson to become the ITBOA champion older colt/gelding of 2019. The exclamation point on the gelding's 2019 season was a one-length victory under jockey Walter De La Cruz in the $100,000 Governor Terry E. Branstad Stakes on Iowa Classic Day.
After that victory, Warren Bush said, “I think he's got a really good future. His half-brother Hot Shot Kid went over $500,000 in earnings in Minnesota and Minecraft Maniac is a year younger.”
Minecraft Maniac earned $150,426 from his four victories and two thirds last season in Iowa and ended the year with lifetime earnings of $185,779. According to Bush, who expects to campaign a strong contingent of Iowa-breds at Prairie Meadows in 2020, Minecraft Maniac is in training in Kentucky as he preps for his five-year-old season.
Hello Darling, who completed her 2019 season at Prairie Meadows with a strong open-lengths tally under Walter De la Cruz in the $100,000 Donna Reed Stakes on Iowa Classic Day, earned $143,452 in Iowa last year to garner ITBOA champion older mare honors for the season. The daughter of Girolamo – De Star Xpress (Sea Of Secrets) made five of her eight starts in 2019, including back-to-back wins, for the Kellly's Racing Stable LLC of owner Joe Kelly before being claimed out of a race on August 2, 2019.
“She is a well-bred mare with a big heart,” said Kelly. “We lost the shake the first time we tried to claim her, got her the second time we put in a claim for her, and enjoyed having her. We were glad to see her finish the season with a strong victory for her new connections, owner Gene Burkholder and trainer William Martin.”
Allen Poindexter also earned individual honors as the leading ITBOA owner and breeder for 2019, totaling $583,652 in earnings as an owner and $663,361 in earnings as a breeder. Poindexter's mare Gizzy, the dam of Kauai, garnered recognition as the ITBOA leading broodmare of 2019, with offspring earnings of $230,059.
The Maggi Moss stallion Native Ruler, who was pensioned from stud duty last fall to the Unbridled Spirits Thoroughbred Retirement Ranch in Lisbon, IA, was honored as the ITBOA's leading stallion of 2019. His top progeny accounted for $581,429 in total earnings last year, led by Zella Rose ($135,361) and Scrutinizer ($94,129).
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