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South Dakota racing ready for big weekend

May 7, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

. . . and TRJ is there

Four stakes for Quarter Horses and two for Thoroughbreds highlight closing weekend at the Fort Pierre racetrack.

First up both days are Quarter Horse futurities—the South Dakota Bred Futurity on Saturday and the Open Futurity on Sunday. Trainer Bobby Johnson, also known as King of South Dakota Quarters, qualified six of the eight South Dakota starters and five of the eight Open starters.

But Ardell Sayler-trained Okey Dokey Eyes was the fastest qualifier from two trials on April 24, and has been installed as the 9-to-5 favorite in the South Dakota Bred Futurity.

The South Dakota Bred Derby on Sunday attracts six starters for its $6,700 purse. Chicks Brief Case, who won last year's South Dakota Bred Futurity here, and Larks Merridoc, winner of Brown County's South Dakota Bred Futurity, renew their rivalry. Both are making their first starts since August at Yellowstone Downs.

The South Dakota Bred Thoroughbred Derby might be renamed the Sayler Bred Thoroughbred Derby, as four of the five starters were bred by Ardell Sayler and Janet Sayler of Rapid City, including the probable posttime favorites—Whatcha Gonna Do and Long Live Cowboys.

The weekend marks TRJ—The Racing Journal's third tour-stop of 2010, after Sun Downs for the Pot O' Gold Futurity and Gem County for the Gem County Futurity in April.