Important Prairie Meadows Dates and Deadlines for Horsemen

March 2, 2021 – Altoona, IA. Owners and trainers planning to compete at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, IA this year should take note of a number of important dates and deadlines for the 2021 season that begins on Friday, April 30.

Stall applications for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse connections are due in the racing office on Wednesday, March 24. Applications are available online in the Horsemen’s Information section of the Prairie Meadows website at

Prairie Meadows’ barn area will open on Friday, April 2 and on-track training begins Sunday, April 4. Training from April 4 – 10 will take place on the training track. Beginning Sunday, April 11, the one-mile main track will be open for training for the season. To view the training schedule and starting gate hours go to the Horsemen’s Information section under the racing tab of Prairie Meadows website.

“Trainers should keep in mind that training hours are always subject to weather conditions and available equine population especially during the first couple weeks after the barn area is open,” explained Assistant Racing Secretary Chad Keller.

Keller also noted that the zero date deadline to have foal certificates and current negative Coggins reports on file in the Prairie Meadows racing office for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses is Friday, April 23 by 4 p.m. CDT.

The first day of entries for the 2021 season, which opens with 26 days of Thoroughbred-only racing, will be Sunday, April 25 for races on Friday, April 30. Quarter Horses will begin racing on June 18 and Prairie Meadows will continue the mixed racing format through September 25.

Live racing will be offered this year on a Friday – Monday schedule, with post times set for 6 p.m. CDT on Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. CDT on Sundays and Mondays.

Quarter Horse connections are reminded that futurity and derby payment schedules began on March 1 for the Prairie Meadows Gold Futurity/Derby, Hawkeye Futurity, Cyclone Derby, and Iowa Stallion Futurity/Derby. Payment schedules start on April 1 for the Valley Junction Futurity, Altoona Derby, Jim Bader Futurity, and Polk County Derby.

Nomination forms, which include payment schedules and general conditions for each race, can be downloaded and printed from the Prairie Meadows website at Quarter Horse Futurity/Derby Nomination Forms & Lists can be found on the site under the Horsemen’s Information section.

For questions about Prairie Meadows Gold Futurity/Derby, contact Martha Harsch at 515-967-1205 or by email at For questions about Hawkeye Futurity, Cyclone Derby, and Iowa Stallion Futurity/Derby, contact John Lawless of the IQHRA at 641-640-5451 or by email at

About Prairie Meadows
Prairie Meadows began operations as a nonprofit organization in 1989 with the goal of promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa. Through taxes, grants, and charitable donations, Prairie Meadows has given $1.9 billion to the state of Iowa. Prairie Meadows offers slot machines, table games, live and simulcast racing, sports wagering, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and more.


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