Second in last year's Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II) at Prairie Meadows, Shadowbdancing was not to be denied in this year's $300,000 renewal, scoring the biggest win of his career by one length June 26 (VIDEO).
Always close to the lead while racing on the outside for jockey Eddie Razo Jr., Shadowbdancing overtook pacesetting Racing Bran approaching mid-stretch of the 1 1/8-mile test. He inched away to his 10th lifetime win -- and first graded stakes victory -- of his 24-race career.
Terrel Gore trains the 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Montbrook --Deputy's Mistress, by Deputy Minister, for owner RNB Racing.
The Cornhusker, in its 14th running, is the richest event of the two-day Iowa Festival of Racing.
Shadowbdancing scored at 10-1 odds while completing the 1 1/8-mile event in 1:48.24. Racing Bran, who dueled for the lead with King Dan all the way into the stretch before being tackled by the eventual winner, finished second with Chris Emigh aboard. Golden Yank, with Shaun Bridgmohan riding, was three-quarters of a length farther back in third while finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of 3-2 favorite Mythical Power .
Racing Bran and King Dan battled through fractions of :23.64, :47.79 and 1:11.68. Shadowbdancing, breaking from the far outside in the field of nine, was wide throughout while holding a forward position in third and willingly engaged Racing Bran in the lane. He eventually edged away and dropped to the rail in the final strides while maintaining his narrow advantage over a stubborn Racing Bran.
Golden Yank, also racing on the outside in the second flight of horses, advanced to be within striking distance at the top of the stretch and launched a mild bid to gain the show spot over Mythical Power, who chased the pace from mid-pack but had little left for the drive.
Now an eight-time stakes winner, Shadowbdancing has been especially successful at Prairie Meadows, where he has logged a 4-2-2 record in eight starts with all of his wins coming in stakes events. He earned $180,000 for the Cornhusker victory, which improved his career earnings to $622,495. His biggest prior win came by eight lengths in the West Virginia Governors Stakes at Mountaineer Park last August.
Shadowbdancing was coming off a second-place finish by 2 1/2 lengths to Cornhusker foe Red Lead in the Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes May 29, a race he won in 2009.
"Last time, the horse was a little rank, but not today," Razo said. "He was relaxed."
In last year's Cornhusker, Shadowbdancing led all the way before being caught late by Jonesboro, who went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths.
"I feel great," said Gore after avenging that defeat. "He's run good here all the time. It's wonderful racing (at Prairie Meadows). The people of Iowa should be very proud of this place."
Gore said Shadowbdancing would return to Mountaineer to defend his title in the West Virginia Governors.
Ocala Stud Farm bred the winning dark bay or brown horse. Shadowbdancing was a $200,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company 2007 Selected Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.
Sent off as the fifth choice, Shadowbdancing carried top weight of 120 pounds and paid $22.80, $8.80 and $6. The exacta with 8-1 shot Racing Bran returned $150.60. The Illinois-bred Racing Bran, who had won four of his previous five races for trainer Scott Becker, returned $9.60 and $7.20. The 23-1 shot Golden Yank paid $15.40 to show and rounded out a $3,454.80 trifecta.
Mythical Power was followed by King Dan, Red Lead, Going Ballistic, Brass Hat and Slew's Tizzy .