Wild around the stretch7/15/2015
The wild animals are back at Prairie Meadows this Sunday, July 19. Between the horse races, camels and zebras will go snout to hoof in tests of speed — and for the jockeys, a test of balance — that are sure to entertain the whole family.
“The camel is definitely more difficult to ride if the jockey is used to riding horses,” said Jon Hausler, Prairie Meadows marketing department. “Camels have a longer stride than horses, so it can be off-putting to the jockeys.”
Unfortunately, a fan favorite — the ostrich race — will not be there this weekend. Due to the recent bird flu that’s been going around, the state of Iowa is not letting any type of bird into the state right now, including ostriches, Hausler said.
But the show must go on. Here are some of the camels and zebras that will be competing for your racing pleasure (bios provided by the Prairie Meadows marketing department).
Weight: 650 pounds
Meryl Streak is known for her award-winning acting, but when she isn’t shooting any films, she pursues her true passion — racing. Meryl has a sweet personality, and she tends to randomly sing wherever she goes. But don’t let her soft side fool you; Meryl is determined to win a race for her dedicated fans.
Distinguishing Marks: Well groomed
Weight: 850 pounds
This unique racing zebra earned his name from the way he runs zigzag style in all of his races. His method tends to confuse the other competitors and has led to many collisions on the track. Be ready for Zagger to stir up some trouble at Prairie Meadows.
Distinguishing Marks: Wild mohawk
Weight: 715 pounds
Distinguishing Marks: Stripes
Named after the champion racehorse, Stripebiscuit has a lot to live up to. So far she has won every single race that she has been in. Can she keep her winning streak alive?
Weight: 925 pounds
Distinguishing Marks: Buck teeth
Fresh from his harrowing adventures on the island known as Madagascar, Marty is looking for his first win as a race zebra. Marty may be the new zebra on the block, but his determination is destined to pay off when he crosses the finish line.
Weight: 1,100 pounds
Place of Origin: North Carolina
After being out of the racing game for years to pursue his career as a cigarette spokesperson, Joe is finally returning to the track. He may be the oldest camel out there, but that just fuels his motivation to win.
Weight: 800 pounds
Place of Origin: Lebanon
If there is an undercamel in this race, it’s Humpy. Two years ago, Humpy had a great fall and broke several bones (including his hump). Humpy was hump-less. Thanks to the best doctors in the world, Humpy was miraculously put back together again and is making his grand re-entrance to the racing world.
Weight: 785 pounds
Country of Origin: Egypt
This camel shows that a sweet tooth can be a good thing. Her recent victory at the Sahara Stakes solidified that she is a camel to watch, and word on the street is that she is hungry for more (dessert).
Weight: 950 pounds
Country of Origin: Saudi Arabia
Born and bred in Arabia, Lawrence has raced on the hilliest and sandiest tracks in the world. His most recent victory was in the Dune Dash, where he won by a landslide. If he can sweep past his competition in the sand, how fast can he race on the Prairie Meadows track?
The camel and zebra races are exhibition races only, which means that you can’t bet on them. While these races aren’t going to net you any income, they won’t be deducting any either.
“The cost is nothing!” Hausler said. “The races are free, and families are welcome.”CV
Camel and Zebra Races
Sunday, July 19
Live racing post time 1 p.m.
There is no wagering on these exhibition races. The whole family — all ages — is welcome to enjoy these races.