Baffert's 'Prayer' Answers in Iowa Derby
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 11:33:48 PM
Last Updated: 6/28/2011 3:33:44 PM

Prayer for Relief comes home strong to win the Iowa Derby.
Photo: Coady Photography

Prayer for Relief gave trainer Bob Baffert consecutive wins in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III) when he registered a mild upset at Prairie Meadows on the night of June 25 (VIDEO) .

The Jump Start   colt, ridden by Rafael Bejarano for owner Zayat Stables, was a convincing two-length victor in the 1 1/6-mile test of 3-year-olds, which he completed in a good time of 1:41.73. This was the first stakes win for Prayer for Relief.

Sherriff Cogburn was a clear second by 5 1/2 lengths over Dreaminofthewin, who edged Caleb's Posse   for third in the field of seven. Astrology  , the 1-2 favorite, gave way in the stretch and finished sixth.

Prayer for Relief had raced in one prior stakes race, finishing second in the Real Quiet at Hollywood Park last November. In his only prior start this year, the dark bay/brown colt defeated Jakesam by three-quarters of a length in a first-level allowance at Hollywood May 29.

Leaving from the rail, Prayer for Relief raced in second as Marco's Fling showed the way through solid fractions of :23.18, :46.83 and 1:10.92. Prayer for Relief, angling off the rail near the quarter-mile pole, rallied under urging from Bejarano and drew off in the final furlong.

Sherriff Cogburn, while no threat to the winner, finished willingly after stalking the pace in fourth for Perry Compton. Dreaminofthewin, ridden by Terry Thompson, managed a belated bid for third.

Bred in Kentucky by G.R Aschinger, Prayer for Relief was an $80,000 Keeneland September yearling buy. He is out of Sparklin Lil, by Mr. Sparkles.

Prayer for Relief earned $150,000 for the victory, which extended his career bankroll to $214,000. He has won three of six career starts.

Sent off as the third choice, Prayer for Relief carried 116 pounds and paid $13.60, $6.40 and $6.20. Sherriff Cogburn returned $14.60 and $12.60 and completed a $139.80 exacta. Dreaminofthewin was $17.80 to show.

Caleb's Posse, the 122-pound top weight, was followed by Marco's Fling, Astrology and Chosen Miracle. Irish Lion scratched.



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