Sure Shot Biscuit Rolling in the Dough; Iowa's First Millionaire

Edited from track reports
On Tuesday evening, Sure Shot Biscuit eclipsed the $1 million mark in career earnings at Prairie Meadows. The 6-year-old gelding, owned by Okoboji Racing Stable and trained by Kelly Von Hemel, is the first Iowa-bred in history to reach that milestone.

Sure Shot Biscuit's regular rider, Terry Thompson, had the mount in the Thoroughbred's 47th start, a $25,000 open allowance race.

Gangsta Rap, ridden by Alex Birzer, got away to an unhurried start, leading throughout the first three-quarters of the one-mile competition. At the top of the stretch, Fourteen Ten and jockey Perry Compton hit the accelerator, taking the lead with Sure Shot Biscuit following suit and putting his head down for the drive. Moments before the wire, Sure Shot Biscuit stuck his head in front, but was nipped late by first place finisher I Dancer. Saddlespur finished second by a head, and Sure Shot Biscuit was third by a neck behind the winner in 1:36 4/5.

Following the race, Prairie Meadows officials joined Sure Shot Biscuit and his connections in the winner's circle enclosure for a special ceremony acknowledging the horse's lifetime achievements.

"It was so close," said an emotional Leroy Gessmann of Tuesday's race. Gessmann owns Okoboji Racing Stable in partnership with Cynthia Johnson.

In his 2002 campaign as a fourth-year starter, Sure Shot Biscuit launched a string of second- and third-place finishes, but no wins in six starts coming into Tuesday's race. His connections plan to enter him again this year in the Iowa Classic, a ten-race card restricted to Iowa-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses on August 31.

"To be around him the last three or four years has been an honor and a privilege," Von Hemel said.

Roger and Barbara Luebbe of Shady Bend Thoroughbreds foaled Sure Shot Biscuit, the son of Miracle Heights-Native Secretary by Our Native, on February 7, 1996. In 47 starts, Sure Shot Biscuit's on-the-board record is 23-7-9 for first-, second-, and third-place finishes.

Sure Shot Biscuit has been Iowa's leading thoroughbred since his maiden season in 1999, winning a dozen stakes races at Prairie Meadows and multiple honors as Horse of the Year by the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. In addition, the horse traveled to the winner's circle in open company in Kentucky and Arkansas and, in 2001, finished third in Prairie Meadows' signature race The grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap behind Euchre and Dixie Dot Com.