Cornhusker Wait Over for Wayzata Bay

Cornhusker Wait Over for Wayzata Bay
Photo: Coady Photography
Israel Ocampo celebrates as Wayzata Bay wins the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II).
Forty-two starts into his career, 6-year-old Wayzata Bay scored his first graded stakes win when he upset a good field in the $295,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) in Altoona, Iowa, on the night of June 28.

Ridden by Israel Ocampo for owner World Thoroughbreds Racing and trainer Judi Hicklin, Wayzata Bay used a powerful stretch drive to tally by 3 1/2 lengths at odds of 38-1 in the 1 1/8-mile Cornhusker. Sumac, the second longest shot in the seven-horse field at odds of 21-1, finished second to complete a $2 exacta worth $476.40.  Temporary Saint, the 2-1 second choice finished third, one length behind the runner-up. Zanjero, the 13-10 choice, ran fourth. The final time was 1:48.47 on a fast track.

After stumbling at the start, Wayzata Bay settled into third while stalking the pacesetters. Encaustic led through early fractions of :23.92 and :47.59 before slowly giving way to Temporary Saint, who led after clocking the opening six furlongs in a so-so 1:11.72. Wayzata Bay rallied three wide on the far turn to get the lead in the stretch and gradually pulled away under strong handling. Sumac, ridden by Tim Doocy, kicked home from five paths wide in the stretch to take second over Temporary Saint and Jamie Theriot.

In spite of a ground-saving trip under Robby Albarado, Zanjero was unable to contend when angled out for the stretch run.

A son of Roar out of Beauty Is, by Personal Flag, Wayzata has two wins and two seconds in his last four starts, all stakes. This was his third try in the Cornhusker after finishing eighth in 2006 and fifth last year. Last time out, the dark bay finished a neck behind Sumac in the Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes at Prairie Meadows on Memorial Day.

Bred in Kentucky by Good Genes Farm, Wayzata has 11 career victories and earnings of $554,408.

The winner toted co-high weight of 119 pounds and paid $78.80, $16.80 and $6. Sumac returned $18.40 and $5.20. Temporary Saint was $3.80 to show. Zanjero was followed by Prom Shoes, Delightful Kiss and Encaustic. Fairbanks scratched.

Earlier on the Prairie Meadows card, Kinsman Stable homebred Fancy Fusaichi ($6), ridden by Julien Leparoux, burst through at the head of the stretch and surged to an 8 3/4-length win in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Stakes.

Bill Mott trains the 4-year-old daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus--Fancy Clancy, by Rahy, for George Steinbrenner. Miss Atlantic finished second and 9-10 choice Rolling Sea ran third.

The $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap went to Native Ruler, who defeated Sing Baby Sing by three-quarters of a length while completing the six-furlong event in 1:08.98. Noonmark, the 7-10 favorite, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

Ocampo rode the winner for owner Maggi Moss and trainer Chris Richard. Native Ruler is a 4-year-old bay colt by Elusive Quality out of the Dixieland Band mare Tajannub.

(Chart, Equibase)

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