Grade I winner Golden Ticket , dead-heat winner of the 2012 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, drew the outside post 8 and carries high weight of 120 pounds for the nine-furlong Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) Sat., June 28, at the Iowa oval.
Golden Ticket enters the $300,000 Cornhusker off a fifth-place effort in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) two weeks ago. He ran a good second to Foster winner Moonshine Mullin in the May 2 Alysheba Stakes (gr. II), and was also runner-up in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) in his first start this season. A 5-year-old Speightstown horse trained by Ken McPeek, Golden Ticket ran second behind Goldencents in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) last November. He has won five of 25 starts and $1,254,090 for Magic City Thoroughbred Partners and holds a class edge over his foes here.
Ground Transport won the Drosselmeyer Stakes two starts back before faltering and finishing fifth in the 12-furlong Brooklyn Stakes (gr. II) last out for trainer Michael Stidham. The multiple stakes winning son of Big Brown likes to be placed on the lead, and should savor the cutback in distance in the Cornhusker.
Right to Vote has excelled in stakes company but hasn't fared as well in graded stakes company in his career. But the 5-year-old gelding by Political Force likes to win races, with seven victories in 21 starts, and will be tested for class here. He is another with early speed and has one second-place finish in his two starts at nine furlongs.
Carve should be sitting just off the pace of Ground Transport and Right to Vote. An optional claiming/allowance winner last out at Churchill Downs, Carve ran third behind Will Take Charge three races back in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), but tired in the Pimlico Special (gr. III) next out. Trained by Brad Cox, Carve has been competitive in graded stakes from Oklahoma to Oaklawn and has the right running style to make an impact here.
Lightly raced Coin Broker ran third in the Alysheba off two wins at Gulfstream Park and has only run five times. The colt by Tapit is a stalker and any improvement with experience will put him in the Cornhusker hunt.
Bellarmine gives trainer McPeek two in the Cornhusker. He was an easy winner of an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill last out but has been up against it in his recent forays into stakes company.
Lent is a lightly raced son of Pulpit who will attempt to graduate from allowance company and make his mark in stakes competition. He has won two of his six career starts and won at this distance two starts back at Churchill.
Eriugena tried stakes action in the Brooklyn (gr. II) June 7 but never got into the race and finished last, beaten 24 3/4 lengths. He has run well enough in lesser allowance company and will benefit from a hot pace as he is a confirmed closer.
$300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, approximate post 10:15 CDT, 1 1/8 miles (Dirt)
Post Position, jockey, weight, trainer
1. Eriugena, Cornelio Velasquez, 115, Mike Maker
2. Lent, Brian Hernandez Jr., 114, Ian Wilkes
3. Bellarmine, Alan Garcia, 115, Ken McPeek
4. Right to Vote, Ricardo Santana Jr., 117, Ron Moquett
5. Coin Broker, Corey Lanerie, 115, Dale Romans
6. Ground Transport, David Mello, 117, Michael Stidham
7. Carve, Jesus Castanon, 117, Brad Cox
8. Golden Ticket, Robby Albarado, Ken McPeek