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RACE ANALYSIS

 friday, may 22 .....saturday, may 23 ....Sunday, may 24........Monday, may 25

 

by Angela Hermann

 

 

  

 
Angela's Season Statistics:  17 for 49      35%  .95 ROI
 
 

Friday, May 22nd  

Race 1

#1 Empress Wildcat
#4 Tizzy Dean
#6 Sismonceo
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($48 total)
1,4,5,6/2,6/1,3,4/6,8,9,10
$1 Daily Double ($3 total)
1/2,3,6
With one weekend in the books, we open Memorial Day weekend with eight night races. Maiden fillies start things off, and most are entered with a deep discount from their last start. That’s never great this early in the season but some barns are better with it than others….
Empress Wildcat has plenty of miles on her – This will be her fifth different racetrack after just six races and she is now a Joel Berndt trainee. Her better races have come at two turns and she can stay as close as Maria Thornton would like her to be to the pace. Speed wasn’t killer opening weekend, but this track can’t stay in an identity crisis forever.
Al & Bill Ulwelling enter two in this spot with similar records. They’re both 0-3 at this juncture in their careers and neither has hit the board. Tizzy Dean has been running on dirt though, while it appears her stablemate may be headed for the turf course sometime later in the season. She needs to show much more than she did in Arkansas but if she can run at all, she figures to show it here.
Sismonceo may not be the horse she used to be, but if she’s got any of that run to her still she should be able to make some noise in this field. Some numbers in the past she’s posted would be good enough to win it all. She was running on well at the end of her last race in Nebraska but there are still questions surrounding her long layoff.


Race 2
#6 I’m a Southern Diva
#2 Spicy Abby
#3 Serious Gray
Wagers
$.50 Trifecta ($4 total)
2,6/2,3,6/2,3,4,6
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
2,6/2,3,4,6
A healthy pace is about the only guarantee in the second. The same price level fills the second half of the early double as the first, but the contenders are a little more clear cut. A couple of barns that’ve been picking their spots well with limited runners should take a lot of money in the second.
Clay Brinson does not have the most crowded barn at Canterbury but year after year hits the winners’ circle at a healthy clip after spending the spring in Chicago. He’s had some time to work with Im a Southern Diva for a while now, and she’s been running better with each start in his care. She and Denny Velazquez will be crossing their fingers that the front runners cook early and set up her rally.
A very dangerous filly on the drop is one of those speedsters: Spicy Abby. The main knock against her is her absence since February of this year but her runs against claimers would put her in the picture late against this group. She has never run for this low of a price but the barn places them well and if she’s entered here, it’s probably where she belongs at this point.
 Minnesotan gal Serious Gray defeated the top choice last time around, but she did so with a slightly better journey in the slop. She takes her sweet time clearing conditions too, so it’s hard to believe she’ll pick this one off after getting her second win just two starts back. Still, the Scherbenske trainee has settled in nicely against this type lately and must be kept in the mix.
 

Race 3
#3 Stoupinator
#4 Talkin Bout
#1 Kiss to Remember
Wagers
$1 Pick Three ($12 total)
1,3,4/6,8/3,6
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
3/1,4,5,6
Turf racing usually begins later in the season than this, but if this stays on the turf we’ll be treated to yet another competitive group on the green. The ladies in the gate are a bunch of money makers and a few new barns to Canterbury get in the mix in the third. Enjoy the show – The victorious filly in here will have to work hard for her money.
If there’s a gap about to close, a hole to step in, or a wire to trip over on the turf Stoupinator will find it. She is better than her 3-21 record indicates including a victory over our turf in the Northbound Pride a couple years ago. It’s easy to find trouble sprinting on the turf like she’s been doing lately, but Butler will take over the riding duties here and perhaps returning to the site of her last victory will get her in the winning mood again.
Finding fault with Talkin Bout’s record is hard but she lands in the deep end for her first start this year. She’s very capable of firing fresh and the pace should be there for her to rally into. A handicapper really can’t ask for a more consistent mare in the figure department, but that being said her par figure is a touch below the best in here. The Minnesotan will be coming at the end, that’s for sure.
Maggi Moss wins races all over the place and she’s decided to send Kiss to Remember up here from Churchill Downs for a try at our turf. All that class she’s towing along should make her the favorite but will she get her way up front? It really doesn’t look that way and she’s not so tough when she’s not in the driver’s seat pace-wise….She’s a must-use but not a single unless you see something this handicapper doesn’t.
.


Race 4
#8 Djimmah
#3 Cowgirl Queen
#6 Individual Design
Wagers
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
3,6,8,9,10
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
8/3,6,9,10
Favorites fare poorly in this particular type of race. She’s already a little behind the eight ball with where she drew in the gate, so why not take a shot in here? The turf form among the fillies in the fourth is not the most solid in the world but someone has to win….in most cases that will involve a horse pulling a form 180….
Some recent race flops are easier to forgive than others, and Djimmah has some excuses in her corner. She started off full of promise in Florida late in her two year old year, but when moved to California to try things out at three she didn’t show an ounce of run. She has a pedigree that’s turf-leaning and four of her last five races have been on other surfaces –That combined with fleeing California could put the spring back in her step.
Cowgirl Queen doesn’t need excuses for losing, but where have you been young lady? She’s another with plenty of pedigree to be a nice turf horse but why send a filly to the bench off an impressive maiden win? She drew better than her stablemate and Goncalves got off to a good start here last weekend. There are some things to like her and she may drift up on the toteboard.
The same probably can’t be said for Diodoro trainee Individual Design--almost everything from this barn gets bet. She improved markedly from start one to start two in Northern California but neither of her races really get the pulse racing from a visual or time standpoint. Neither took place on the grass either, so will she be worth the short-priced gamble she’s likely to be?

Race 5
#3 Bing’s Magic
#6 Great River Skier
#2 Let Da Cowboy Rock
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($24 total)
3,6/5,7/1,2,4,7/3,4,6
$.50 Trifecta ($5 total)
3,6/3,6/All
While some of the State-bred sprints have been wide open this meet, a good amount of favorites have finished the job and there should be a hefty one in the fifth. Mac Robertson lost his stranglehold on the training title last year but he’s firing all the right shots thus far in the 2015 meet….
Bing’s Magic went all of last year nibbling at pieces of open allowance purses but ended up without a photo in 2014. He’s probably the most fleet out of the gate among these and that served him well in his last outing against Minnesotans. He did lose that day but the distance got him probably more than the competition; he’s put up for sale in search of that elusive third win and is the one to catch.
Bravo has a couple of wins with horses off long layoffs already, and he’ll try for another with Great River Skier. This gray drifts back and forth between sellers and allowance foes, but when entered for this tag or thereabouts he’s usually close at the end. Bing’s Magic may beat him at his own game but he might just be better than the rest.
The only horse with anything to him this year is Let Da Cowboy Rock. Each of his four starts this year came with a check but that was at Fonner, and he’ll have to find a way to turn the tables on the above runner. He’s struck out several times against him but Hernandez fits him well and hops in the irons for Donlin.


Race 6
#7 Bobblehead
#5 Quality Man
#4 Brother Stachys
 
Wagers
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
5,7/2,4,5,7
$1 Pick Three ($27 total)
4,5,7/1,4,7/3,4,6
Expect a lot of motoring out of the gate in the sixth, as pace appears plentiful among the seven entered and it may be a matter of who can take the starch or heart out of the rest of the front runners. While it’s tempting to take a closer to snatch up all the pieces, the real confirmed closer has some dusting off to do….
Bobblehead, on the other hand, is riding in on the wave of hot connections that’ve already connected at this meet with good success. Take his turf races out of the mix and this is a solid sprinter deserving of a shot against allowance types. It’s always encouraging to see a horse claimed by a sharp horseman and put in a spot where he’s protected, and that’s exactly what we’re working with on the outside.
There’s plenty to like about the morning line favorite as well, as Joel Berndt’s Quality Man has been sharp. However, with such an effort off the shelf the possibility of regression looms. Maria Thornton and Berndt hit at a good clip though, and it’s not like this is a one trick pony. She is a good judge of pace and can position herself to take advantage should the front end become crowded.
Denny Velazquez has ridden Brother Stachys before with success. Their score together last August sticks out like a sore thumb on the page though, as even his other on-the-board finishes have been distant. He needs a lot of help up front but he might also need a race….next time.


Race 7
#7 Doodle Hopper
#4 Unobtainium
#1 Seek the Noblest
 
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($9 total)
1,4,7/3,4,6
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
1,2,4,7
Strong favoritism shouldn’t fall any certain way in the seventh and they’re a nice bunch to kick off the early double. There just isn’t a whole lot to go on with any runner and the first-timer on the inside debuts for an outfit that generally takes money with young ones. 
Doodle Hopper may have found the toughest competition of any of these in the spring but he outran his odds a couple of times in defeat. He’s learned a little in each start and can stay clear of trouble from the seven hole. He hasn’t really blasted out of the gate in his last two but Carreno should get him moving right away – if he can keep the leaders within reasonable range he’ll be tough to fend off.
Mercedes Runner Unobtainium scratched out of a spot on Sunday in favor of this event. There’s no money to be made standing in a stall, so why the rest since January? He ran a fine debut despite only beating three others home, but the rest is of bigger concern than that. They paid an awful lot for him to be a maiden at four….tick tock.
The future is probably bright for Seek the Noblest but Tom Amoss can’t be thrilled that his first timer drew the rail. The works have a fair amount of gaps in them but lately they’ve been pretty darn sharp including a gate drill at Keeneland longer than this race. The connections are too solid to be left out but the price may not match the reality of how difficult his task today is.


Race 8
#3 Tensaw
#4 Mogilny
#6 August Day
 
Wagers
$.50 Trifecta ($12 total)
3,4,6/3,4,6/1,2,3,4,6,7
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
3,4,6
To stand firmly behind any entrant in the eighth is tough. On paper the pace looks like it will be fair but the speed horses aren’t in peak condition at the moment – to be fair, who is in the best form of their life if they’re at this level? It could make for an interesting looking toteboard….
Tensaw make sense as a fresh horse but he’s been off for long enough to be a little concerned. The mile last time around dulled his kick at the end but prior to that he was not really running up to snuff at short distances either. Maybe he just didn’t care for the mud two back and he can be counted on for one of his better efforts today.
One of Mogilny’s favorite places to run is right here, and if he can go back to one of his races last year at this level he could upset. He’s got loads of speed and draws to the outside of three closers but he’ll need to clear a couple to his outside. Still, Stephanie Herb has done well with the few horses she’s started and the price should be square from this slot. 
Percy Scherbenske’s August Day doesn’t adore the winners’ circle but he and Ry Eikleberry don’t often miss the board in Shakopee. Until that last race against much tougher company he managed to stay in the top three seven times in a row…and this class level is right in that ballpark. He’s no lead pipe cinch but he should make his presence felt.
 
Saturday, May 23rd
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#6 This Is the Bizz
#5 Mo’s Good Friday
#7 Captain Oh Captain
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($30 total)
5,6,7/3/1,3,4,7/3,4,5,8,9
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
5,6,7
Thank you for joining us for the second Saturday of racing in the 2015 season!   The day begins with Minnesotan maidens, and they’re a handicapping puzzle to say the least. Conventional methods just don’t often apply to these types, as there’s not a ton to like in the past performances linked to each.
In that spirit, This Is the Bizz looks formidable against a rather inexperienced group. 0-17 maidens typically get the boot in a lot of handicapping equations, but he really does make the most sense based on his past races at this level with blinkers on. He just about got there last year and shouldn’t have to work too hard to get the lead.
It took Mo’s Good Friday quite some time to make the races but Biehler finally gets him saddled for start #1. He could not have asked for a better group to try it against than this, and whatever kept him from starting as a younger horse appears to be behind him. The works have been steady since March and it’s not like he’d have to be a monster to win in here.
Two come from the Diodoro barn as well as the Bethke barn, but the “Captains” haven’t done much running yet in their careers. At least the outside drawn Captain Oh Captain took a little money in his first start in Nebraska before finishing fifth. Adding blinkers & Lasix should help a touch and Carreno’s willing to take a spin in the saddle.


Race 2
#3 Secret of Success
#2 Bert’slittlesister
#5 De Lica
Wagers
$.10 Superfecta ($8 Total)
3/2,4,5,6/All/All
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
3/2,4,5,6
A surprising lack of speed drew into the second. This condition also calls in a lot of ladies that haven’t won in a lot longer than six months….pace-wise and form-wise, a lot of arrows point to the same filly that’s been carefully placed in here. Price shopping may have to come in another race. 
Secret of Success has gone on a fine run under Silva’s guiding hand. She came to him at the end of last year off a win and started on a streak of good races through April of this year. Vergara was aboard for most of those races and he lands here again today….they can fly out of the gate and may be gone from the word “go”.
The win pictures of Bert’slittlesister are toddlers now but she’ll drop back to a level where she managed to get a piece last year. Butler wants to ride her again and she’s one of the only ones with much tactical speed to chase the gray to her right. Things obviously went very wrong at the end of last year but maybe she just needed a break.
De Lica’s now past the year mark since her last win but 2015 hasn’t been the worst to her. The slightly slower early fractions in her recent races seemed to help until last time around but she wasn’t disgraced behind two repeat winners. De Lica is honest though, and her late charge should be good enough for some dough against these.
 

Race 3
#4 Bluegrass Lucy
#1 Bear Facts
#7 Nora’s Song
Wagers
$1 Pick Three ($32 total)
1,4/3,4,8,9/1,3,4,7
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
1,3,4,6,7
The only turf race of the early pick four is shouldn’t have a sizzling early pace to it, but this could set up to be a rider’s race. Most of the gals in the seven horse field have shown the ability to lead or follow without particular preference and they’re hard to narrow down as a result.
The nod goes to Bluegrass Lucy with her good Canterbury grass record and the solid spring she’s put together at Tampa. Eddie Martin seemed to figure her out last year and nearly picked up two in a row when she went back to the grass. Her two wins this year were against slightly softer on the main track but they were both in pace-stalking fashion, the position she may find herself in here.
Morning-line favorite Bear Facts runs hot and cold for Valorie Lund but carries a win streak back to Canterbury. Lund and Franco have been getting very close at this meet and are due to hit one, but why did this filly take so much time off after becoming a stakes winner? Seems odd to sit a filly down on the bench when she’s rolling but something must have happened….either way, she’s been back on the work tab for a while and can win fresh.
We’ve seen Noras’s Song in different colors in the past and now she returns for Carl O’Callaghan in search of her first Canterbury turf victory. He picked her up and immediately hit pay dirt with her, but that was against cheaper and she’ll need to find a way to make up a few lengths on the top choice.


Race 4
#3 Princess Gina
#4 Big Island Blonde
#9 Bella Izabella
Wagers
$1 Exacta ($10 total)
3,4/1,3,4,5,8,9
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
3,4,8,9
Vertical players should rejoice at the sight of the race four field, as it’s very hard to pick out a standout among the talented ladies trying to break their maiden. Nobody would really be a huge surprise, so why not try to take a bit of a pricey shot? Keep an eye on the tote board for clues on the first-time starters or horses starting for new connections. 
Princess Gina is one of only two older fillies taking on three year olds. One zippy work at Monmouth Park shows up before hitting the pine for 2014, but her set of drills at Tampa/Canterbury are sparkling for start #1. Eikleberry is lured into this corner and Padilla won with his only older first time starter at Canterbury in the last five years…..in a romp.
Mac Robertson’s started fast at the 2015 meet and he brings back fresh second-timer Big Island Blonde. Her attentions obviously lied elsewhere at the start of her only race but she rallied quickly to nab fourth behind a talented runner. That heat was full of eventual Maiden Special Weight winners and even if she doesn’t pose for pictures today, it shouldn’t be long until she joins them.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Bella Izabella in her first start in Ulwelling colors, but she has to be better than she was last time…..right? At least in her second start she showed early speed before tiring, and she seems to be the more live entrant from this barn with a healthy diet of half mile drills behind her. 
 


Race 5
#3 Beyond Compare
#4 Magic D’Oro
#7 XBalanque
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($48 total)
1,3,4,7/4,8/1,4,8,11/1,2,6
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
1,3,4,7
A whole bunch of Arizona turf runners entered this rich turf allowance, but they’ll have their work cut out for them against classy shippers from all sorts of ports. This will be one of the larger fields we’ve seen on the turf so far, so watch how it’s playing and bet accordingly. 
Back for more at this level, Beyond Compare should show more this time around. At least on paper there’s a little more pace to run at and this guy got none of that last August; he does a lot better making one rally from far out of it and that may be in the cards today. He absolutely loves the distance and the connections are off to a good start at the meet.
Of the Turf Paradise runners, Magic D’Oro appears to be going the best at the moment. He used two different tactics to get his 7 ½ furlong wins in March & April, but couldn’t quite contain the big favorite in a stake two back. He’s as consistent as they come and the half mile Rarick put into him on May 18th says he handled the trip north well.
Xbalanque didn’t have as far to go but he has to find a way to win for the first time since 2013. That’s a little easier to take knowing that he didn’t run at all in 2014…but did he get enough out of his two sprints this spring to take on two turns against these? We know he can handle turf but going two turns hasn’t always been his cup of tea….mixed signals here but he’s classy.


Race 6
#8 Lunar Gaze
#4 Ms Mumba
#5 Well Wishes
 
Wagers
$.50 Trifecta ($12 total)
8/3,4,5/All
$1 Pick Three ($12 total)
4,8/1,4/1,2,6
This Maiden Special Weight may be even more contentious than the first on the card, but both fields of fillies must be respected down the road. This one may feature a heavier favorite though, as a very expensive young lady from the Tom Amoss stable makes her debut in Minnesota…
Lunar Gaze will take some beating in her third start. Her debut wasn’t bad considering the jam she got into towards the rail, and her last effort on Oaks Day was a brave one after doing all the dirty work early. Either race would probably be good enough to win this and the outside position she drew only helps the cause. The rest have to go through her to get to the winners’ enclosure. 
The company Ms Mumba faced in her start doesn’t compare to the fields tackled by the above runner, but can she help that? She still overcame all sorts of trouble early to catch second money in her debut and will be a better price this go-around. Carreno got a feel for her that day and there’s no reason to think the two can’t have a say in here as well.
The first-timers have all been flaunting speed in the mornings, but the particularly eye-catching one is Well Wishes. Shannon Ritter looks like she has a nice one on her hands and the bullet gate drill the other day should have her on her toes. The barn’s not really known for having their youngsters cranked up right away, and if she’s not victorious today watch out next time.


Race 7
#1 Barley Twist
#4 Wood Machine
#11 Blue Bomber
 
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($6 total)
1,4/1,2,6
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
1,4,11
Position comes into a play a bit more with these 1 mile 70 yard turf races than some other distances due to the chute. The turn comes up rather quick into the stretch and can cost outside runners valuable ground, and a full field like this makes it a little more interesting. This is another fantastic betting race.
Clay Brinson is clever at playing the claiming game, and his new Barley Twist looks like a good buy. Gulfstream turf races are about as good as it gets, and this one had a little trouble keeping pace with the big boys in Florida. He should find this company more to his liking and his early lick can be put to good use from his inside draw. The price is square and he’s better than he looks on paper.
Amoss goes for two in a row with Wood Machine, but this one doesn’t look quite as solid as his runner in the sixth. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve favoritism, but much of his resume’s been made on dirt and he goes to grass today off a one turn mile at Churchill. He has good tactical speed himself and should be close throughout.
Blue Bomber took all the worst of it at the post position draw but has back class on his side. Trouble is his best friend lately but at least from the wide impost he can only be bumped from one side. His affinity for this turf course is already known but his method that day (wire to wire) will be significantly more difficult to use from the eleven hole.


Race 8
#2 Harnersbach
#1 Cernobbio
#6 Arsenalofdemocracy
 
Wagers
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
2,6,9/1
$.50 Trifecta ($13.50 total)
2,6,9/1/All
Standing room only! A lot of horses will graduate for the first time today, and it’s fitting that we end on that note with maiden claimers going six furlongs. It’s hard to trust anyone in here, as the best figures come from horses with a lot of losses already in the rear view mirror….
There aren’t a ton of speed-crazy runners drawn into this spot, so maybe it can be Harnersbach’s turn to get the lead and never look back. He tried to get the lead two back and finally obtained it last time, but evened out in the stretch to finish third. If Heitzmann thinks he should go short he probably should.
Bet Cernobbio on top if you dare, but get a glance at all his underneath finishes before you bet the farm. He’s had his chances against shorter fields of similar horses and still finds himself a maiden….what gives? He was favored three times in a row at Hawthorne without a tally….twice odds-on….and should take a monsoon of cash once again with Butler in the irons.
The other likely underlay in the field is Amoss runner Arsenalofdemocracy. Midwest runners have to be respected but the maximum time he’s been in these new hands is less than two weeks…..do they know what they have yet? Yes, he comes from Churchill Downs but do you want to take a short price on shaky ground?
 
Sunday, May 24th  
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#4 Classy in Red
#3 Pyc Powerwagon
#6 Cokato Cartel
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($6 total)
3,4,6/1,5
$1 Exacta Box ($4 total)
4/3,6
Quarter Horse racing is back in Shakopee and a double dose will start us off on Family Day. Though the first is for all ages, it consists entirely of three year olds and rematches a few from stakes action last year. Some got their year started in Oklahoma and those runners usually hold the upper hand early in our season…. 
Classy in Red made one appearance at Canterbury before heading to Iowa for the rest of her two-year-old campaign. She won that start, and counts it as one of two victories at 350 yards. Murphy would like to ride her and she’s the only two-time starter in 2015 – This could all lead to a low price but a solid favorite.
The Harris barn had a fantastic meet last year and bring two back to the track from Bob & Julie Petersen. Pyc Powerwagon cost himself at the start of the NCQHRA Futurity but was one of the favorites in that event after a strong trial win. He’s also quite comfortable at the distance and already proved he can fire off the pine.
His female stablemate drew the outside for her unveiling this year and Ry Eikleberry decides to ride Cokato Cartel. She put together a fine year for herself as a baby but stuck in the allowance ranks for the most part before finishing a troubled seventh in a stake. She could be the best price of these three.  


Race 2
#1 I Am Ron Burgundy
#5 Jessie Miss Six
#2 High Chance Jess
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($45 Total)
1,2,5/1,3,4,5,7/4,6/1,3,6
$.50 Trifecta ($5 total)
1/2,5/All
Now then, to start our early pick four the picture is a bit fuzzier. Quarter horse maidens with this little experience to them can be a bit feast or famine: You love the standout favorite on the inside or you assume that chaos ensues. This one looked a little more like the first scenario….
The Olmstead barn is another group that had a nice meet here last year and they had a salty batch of youngsters. Though I Am Ron Burgundy got a little lost in the shuffle he kept better company than he finds here and the relief alone should get him home. He didn’t lag way behind in any of his 8 starts to date and got in a race at Remington to get ready. 
Jessie Miss Six stuck with the gals in her last but managed to fill the super at a nice price. That race was a colossal step up from her two mail-it-in type efforts last year and could put her in the running for a piece here. She still needs to prove that wasn’t a fluke but here’s her chance.
Shane Miller’s High Chance Jess has a couple of starts to him this year but gets stuck towards the inside again. Both starts saw him break from the rail, but at least he showed speed in his first outing before blowing the break in the second. He did win a training race in March though, so it looks like the ability’s there.
 

Race 3
#4 Legend in Time
#7 Showbiz Dutchess
#5 Strictly Classy
Wagers
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
1,3,4,5,7
$.50 Trifecta ($9 total)
4,5,7/4,5,7/1,3,4,5,7
While this isn’t as low as we go in price for maidens, these claiming fillies are all dropping in price for their initial try at Canterbury this year. Thoroughbred racing begins with a category that often goes to a low-priced winner, but when no filly who’s run looks particularly tough…..
First-timer Legend in Time holds appeal simply because she hasn’t lost yet. The works have a few gaps in them but she’s got a LOT at Tampa and Canterbury to prepare for her initial outing. She was a late foal and thus skipped racing as a juvenile – but she wouldn’t have to be loaded with talent to skip away from these.
The outside-drawn Showbiz Dutchess has the advantage of four races under her belt this year but has lost ground at the end of each and every one. She had the look of a winner until deep stretch last out at Hawthorne but settled for second at even money. Berndt’s filly fits very well in this group but couldn’t possibly get a better set up than she did April 15th.
While it’s easy to point to Strictly Classy’s connections and class relief and bet the farm, get a look at her two races. The daughter of Old Fashioned is very slow into stride, and the blinkers can only do so much. Brinson is giving her every chance to show what she’s got with this softer bunch of horses but she’ll need to pack a much bigger punch in the stretch to pass them all late.


Race 4
#6 National
#4 Razorbill
#2 Doinmysongndance
Wagers
$1 Exacta Box ($4 total)
6/2,4
$1 Pick Three ($ total)
4,6/3,6/
A speed duel up front looks likely in the fourth of the day. Though a couple entered show the ability to rate, their best work is done right on the engine and that could make things difficult for all of them. Pick one to shake away and sail wire to wire, or one to capitalize as the tanks hit ‘E’?
National is a different horse when he runs at Canterbury than anywhere else. He’s missed the exacta only once on our dirt and he can adapt to a slow or fast pace. His outside draw only helps matters, as the pilot named aboard has been in all the right places at the right times early in the meet. Rarick gave him a break he may have needed and all systems appear to be go.
Mike Chambers doesn’t run an enormous stable, but his numbers with them speak for themselves. John Shirreffs turned over this lightly raced six-year-old to him in January and he’s won twice since. The blinkers going on kept him on the pace in his last two and the hike in class was no problem on April 19th. He’ll give the other speedsters all they can handle on the front end and deserves to be favored.
He drew to the outside of another likely frontrunner in Doinmysongndance.   He came off over a year’s rest last May to win in smashing fashion at this level but had to dip a bit lower on the class ladder to find his only win since. When he faced National at Tampa that runner outfinished him but it was a good track…..and this one does not like any hint of moisture in the dirt. If he can reach back to last may he could surprise, but his main asset is his early speed and there should be company for him up front.
 


Race 5
#3 Golden Road
#6 Chocolate Delight
#1 Wild Luna
Wagers
$1 Pick Three ($8 total)
3,6/1,3,4,6/5
$.50 Trifecta ($10 total)
3,6/1,3,6/All
A short bunch of bottom-level mares conclude the early pick four. Only half of the field’s ever raced in Shakopee, and the lone winner resides on the rail. She did snatch victories right around this level last year before biting off a bit more than she could chew, but a couple others descending to this class make sense too.
Denny Velazquez knows Golden Road quite well. She’s been a victim of many slow paces throughout her career, but with only five to mow down in the lane should it matter here? She had the same task last time and the early leaders managed to fend her off in the stretch, but they were also open claimers. Her figs over this track fit very well with her competition and she probably won’t be the favorite.
No, the favorite should very much be Chocolate Delight. The six year old has been inching closer to the winners’ circle in California but just hasn’t been able to finish the job at some short numbers. They don’t go any lower than she was in for at Santa Anita so don’t panic at the tag drop…..maybe be a little more worried that she’s trying to win one for the first time since September of 2012.
The filly alluded to above is Chuck Turco’s Wild Luna. She’s an honest mare and likes to win a lot more than some in here, but she may be running into a tougher bunch than she met at this level last year. Surely she’ll appreciate getting back to conditioned foes rather than males or open claimers, but she still needs a few things to break her way.


Race 6
#1 Gotta Get Paid
#3 Fort Lewis Rivers
#4 Saturday’s Light
 
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($18 total)
1,3,4,6/1,5,7/2/1,4,6
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
1,3/1,3,4,6
The late pick four will start with a field blessed with early wheels. Tom Amoss entered two with opposite resumes but they’ll probably be two of the favorites against a good field for the level – Determine if you like one or both and go from there.
While most camps would be putting up the red flag by making the drop made with Gotta Get Paid, this is a very good angle for Team Amoss. Running third behind a Breeders’ Cup champion would seemingly not earn a horse a ticket to the claiming ranks but maybe it’s just time to get another win. He’s never missed the board and isn’t really a need-the-lead type…..beat him to score.
My heavens, Fort Lewis River is FAST off the blocks. If he breaks in his customary quick fashion, he could take the heart right out of his other pace competition and make the rest come to get him. He couldn’t be going any better right now and his two best efforts to date were with Maria Thornton.
Saturday’s Light needs to turn things around in a hurry but maybe all the changes in place for this run will do it. He’s got a new trainer, a new jockey, a new surface and a new distance to work with in his 13th start. His career got off to a quick start but it’s gone sour since, so he may need this one to get back on track.


Race 7
#5 Classic Blaze
#1 Friarcracker
#7 V B and Me
 
Wagers
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
1,3,5,7
$1 Exacta ($3 total)
5/1,3,7
Turf sprints are always interesting at Canterbury – Many go the way of the favorite, but if they don’t the price is usually juicy. The most fun part about this bunch is the number of wins – ZERO—that they’ve racked up thus far on the grass. Whether they like it is a guessing game, but the horse to beat is not….
Classic Blaze has at least played this game before, and he just couldn’t cut the mustard against some classier types at the Fairgrounds this spring. Yes, he was the beaten favorite…..but the crowd didn’t see it coming either, as the exacta pair were 10-1 and 37-1. He ran well enough to try it again and should be ready to roll with a half mile drill behind him here.
Friarcracker was flying home in his last start on the grass, and lost nothing in defeat to an eventual stakes winner. Thing is, he’s been off since October and has only been working since April. Bravo can have a horse ready off works though and going five furlongs shouldn’t be asking too much in his first start of the year.
Mike Biehler’s V B and Me is also well-rested, but gets relief from two straight stakes in a row. His father was a specialist at this sort of thing and if he’s inherited any of that instinct he could surprise in his first try at three and on turf. Heck, he was more than ready in his career debut and that was with similar works in tow.


Race 8
#2 Raton Pass
#5 Silver Halo
#8 Sporting Holiday
 
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($9 total)
2,5,8/1,4,6
$.10 Superfecta ($9 total)
2,5,8/2,3,5,8/2,3,5,8/All
The “beaten” condition arises again with a big outlier in its ranks. While many are still seeking their fourth lifetime win after many swings at it, a very familiar horse arrives a bit off form but with a lot of upside back at one of his favorite facilities.
Raton Pass is a well-rested eight year old but has ten wins to his credit, over twice as many as any other entrant. Four of those came here and he won this exact kind of race in a runaway last summer. He showed a similar distaste for Tampa that winter too, and this looks like it could all be a little bit of history repeating.
Silver Halo wouldn’t have to reach back very far for his winning form but it took him quite a while to get that third win. The Troches at least have a horse that will keep on plugging away for it after getting thumped at a higher class level last time. He is versatile enough to get in good position under Hernandez. 
Sporting Holiday deserves respect from the operation he calls home, but this kind of drop is not the best sign in the world. He needed over a year off since the claim for $16,000, and now you can have him for $10,000 off. That last race should have him a little tighter for today but he wasn’t really motoring home either…..your guess as to his improvement here.
 
Race 9
#1 Dunkirk Victory
#4 Docs Miss Victory
#6 Solar Star
 
Wagers
$1 Exacta ($12 total)
1,4,6/1,3,4,6,7
$.50 Trifecta Box ($3 total)
1,4,6
For a lot of these young ladies, it’s time to drop. A lot of Minnesotan maidens drop into sellers out of Maiden Special Weight company after showing little to nothing. They can perk up with a big race at any time but don’t expect magic – Some of them are just greasing the joints after the winter off.
Dunkirk Victory is one of the younger ladies in the field and honestly has a pedigree to do a lot more than she’s being asked to today. There are some spiffy little moves in her past workouts but she hasn’t put it all together in the afternoons yet. If anyone can coax her into getting out of the gate quickly again it’s Carreno, and she’ll have to from the rail.
After ten starts and a lot of third, Docs Miss Victory finds herself a six year old maiden. It’s not for lack of effort – She’s a trier that can pass horses but just hasn’t got there. She’s quite familiar with this level and needs to find a way to pass Connie Lee, but she seemed to be getting better as she went on last year. 
All sorts of questions surround Solar Star, but she’s bound to draw attention with her connections and drop in class. She also put in a bullet work out of the gate a couple weeks ago, but all of that comes with the fact that she hasn’t seen the starter since 2013. Gulp.
 
 
Monday, May 25th  
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#5 Beautifulish
# 3 Royal Cash Wagon
#2 My Dynasty Chick
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($8 total)
2,3,4,5/3,6
$.50 Trifecta ($6 total)
3,5/2,3,4,5/2,3,4,5
Thank you for coming out to Canterbury to help us celebrate Memorial Day. There’s a lot in store in the day and it begins with Quarter Horses. It’s the only race we have for them on Monday, and most will be cutting back in distance seeking their first lifetime win.
Bob & Julie Petersen step Beautifulish back up in class after bringing her to Canterbury with a tag attached last year. It’s nice to see a barn that’s enjoyed success here show confidence in her with that hike and Eikleberry decides to ride for them. She broke a little flat-footed last June and took a break afterwards, but maybe she’s grown up a little with all the time off.
Vic Hanson’s two fillies are very different, but it’s naturally easier to look the way of the maiden with fewer losses on her resume. It’s not that Royal Cash Wagon’s figure was mind-blowing at Remington, it’s that she had so much trouble throughout and actually gained ground at the end that makes you think there must be more than what we’ve seen.
Her stablemate My Dynasty Chick is consistent in getting close but she never seems to find a way to pass the last couple of horses. She raced a few days before  RCW but she was against claimers too....at least they don’t want to lose her here. There are just too many “No cigar” moments to this one.


Race 2
#3 Discretion Advised
#6 Sweet G
#1 Who Is Lido
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($48 total)
1,3,5,6/2,5,8/1,2,4,5/3,7
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
3,6/1,3,5,6
A short group will go a short distance to get Thoroughbred racing going. They aren’t the easiest to group to cap either despite their numbers, and it’s very possible that a 0-24 mare will take the favorite’s role. 
We know Discretion Advised early, it’s trusting her late that’s hard to do. She’s thrown on the brakes hard against tougher company but they’ve also been bigger fields for the most part. This plummet to the bottom combined with a relative lack of speed could make her heart swell up front; if she and Jenna Joubert break sharp they could be long gone.
The 0-24 mark comes with outside runner Sweet G. She has quite a few seconds to show for herself but that record is just too much to take. Butler’s ridden her a number of times and she runs well for him, she’s just found a way to lose 24 times. This is one of the easier groups she’s seen yet but she’s no cinch.
Two ladies have a lot of runs behind them this year and they’re pretty similar looking on paper. Who Is Lido and I Dream Big are both due to find a field they can beat, but at least the inside runner hasn’t run for anything even close to this tag before. She was a pretty quick give-up in California though, so who knows what’s amiss here.
 

Race 3
#8 Summer Tiger
#5 Shock the Clock
#2 Going for Miles
Wagers
$1 Pick Three ($18 total)
2,8/1,2,5/3,5,7
$1 Exacta ($8 total)
2,8/2,3,5,8,9
As usual, a lot of maidens want to test the turf if the dirt hasn’t treated them so well – The 3rd is a healthy sized group. These races, though fun to handicap due to the digging through pedigrees, trainer patterns, etc. don’t always yield a huge bomb. It’s not that the price won’t be fair –Just not astronomical.
Mac Robertson is double-barreled in this race and he’s extremely good with the move he’s making with Summer Tiger. This colt scratched from a shorter spot in favor of this one and will go long just as he started his career at Oaklawn Park. The offspring of this mare can do just about anything and if Mac thinks he’s a grass horse, he probably is.
A big case can be made for Shock the Clock, as in theory he only needs to improve a head to graduate. He can show speed as well and it appears he’s drawn to the outside of his main pace competition. Lund gave him the rest he must have needed off that gut-wrenching effort last out and if he fires like that again, look out. He ran too well to lose that day.
The “other” Robertson runner Going for Miles has a big seasoning edge on his stablemate but has tried this before without success. He didn’t have the easiest of trips last year when he hit the grass but he really didn’t make much of a move at the end either – Maybe he’ll need softer to shine.
.


Race 4
#2 Finishline Fever
#5 Pendulum
#1 Two Left Shoes
Wagers
$.50 Trifecta ($5 total)
2,5/1,2,4,5/1,2,4,5
$1 Exacta Box ($12 total)
1,2,4,5
The inside part of this gate is a bit like Hawthorne North. Most of this group called Chicago home for the winter but there’s a new speed horse in the mix from Tampa too – The pace should be nothing short of blistering if these two run their typical race. Two come from the Brinson barn as well….
Last Stand Stables don’t always know what to expect from Finishline Fever, but when at Canterbury he usually fares well. No one at this level is usually consistent but this one takes it to another level. It is all or nothing with the son of Indygo Shiner  but with pace to run at and his favorite track the venue, why not guess he’ll go all in and take his third victory?
Tim Padilla’s had a good early part of the meet and Pendulum is another that likes Canterbury a lot. Papa Smitty to his left may make life difficult but at least he is feeling good right now and didn’t need too many races off the layoff to find a win. 
Two Left Shoes won a common race between a few of these on April 11th. He’s yet to strike the local circle but he’s been close a number of times, and his versatility should come in handy. Denny Velazquez and he are old friends so expect another good effort from them.


Race 5
#7 African Gray
#3 Gentle As a Breeze
#5 Bambazonki
Wagers
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
3,4,5,7,10
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
3,7/3,4,5,7,10
A wide open claimer closes the early pick four on the turf. Most entered who’ve run on our turf before have liked it and there are some interesting pedigrees for turf that haven’t tried it as well. At this point in the season, this handicapper is inclined to go with the proven commodities….
The Silva barn enters with both African Gray and Gentle as a Breeze, but the former drew further to the outside and has the versatility to track any kind of pace scenario. His entire career he’s been a popular claim but ends up back in the care that won with him a couple of times this winter in Phoenix. He’ll be a better price but he’ll need one of his better efforts to keep up with these.
The other Silva, Gentle as a Breeze, has a little more tactical speed and has been running with better horses than his stablemate. That being said, his campaign here last year didn’t start off so hot and he too needs to find some old form to make an impact here. Franco opts to pilot another but Denny Velazquez has won on him before.
If you seek an animal to steal this one, look no further than Clay Brinson’s Bambazonki. His early speed usually keeps him in the thick of things until the end but he still hasn’t won since 2013 and faces off against some good ones for the level. He’ll take them as far as he can as fast as he can.


Race 6
#8 Decantered
#1 Call to Race
#3 Tough Toy
 
Wagers
$.50 Pick Four ($27 total)
1,4,8/1,2,6/5,6/5,7,9
$1 Exacta Box ($4 total)
3,8/1
The horse that gets his second win in this particular group will likely do it close to the front.   The pace should be loaded in the opening leg of the late pick four, and if you can’t find the speed of the speed you’ll have to hope someone finds a heart to close bigtime….
Decantered is capable of coming from off the pace and did so to break his maiden two back. Vergara has ridden him a couple of times in the past for Silva and opts to take the reins again today. His three sprint efforts since leaving California have been on-the-board finishes, but they’ve all been longer than this.
The fastest of them all could be the inside drawn Call to Race. Brinson has another horse that started out in California, but made his living in Chicago since. He’s a one trick pony but he has been racing against a lot better than he finds to his right. The winner of his last came back with a nice effort against allowance horses this weekend – Could he follow suit?
Silva has another runner entered in this spot, and Tough Toy scratched out of another spot in favor of this one. He hasn’t been in this barn quite as long but made quick work of getting to the winners’ circle in March. He couldn’t handle the jump to this company in Arizona, so can he here?


Race 7
#1 Silver Lining John
#2 El Seventyseven
#6 Castletown
 
Wagers
$1 Pick Three ($18 total)
1,2,6/3,5/5,7,9
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
1,2,6
The Honor The Hero is always one of the most contentious stakes we run, and the weather has played a factor in recent history. Pay close attention to the main track records of all entered if playing pick fours, as some in here definitely move up if this quick journey is moved over to the dirt.
If left on the turf, Silver Lining John may offer a fair price. He doesn’t usually win by a mile when he finds the gold, but it’s his grit that should come in handy with his rail draw. The options for Ry Eikleberry are limited with that post but he appeared to be a candidate to wire this bunch regardless. Each step up the ladder hasn’t been a problem, so why think he’ll be intimidated by this group?
Mac Robertson’s got off to an extremely fast start this meet (no pun intended) and he tries this race again with El Seventyseven. He finished an even third last year behind Castletown but rides a two race win streak into this year’s edition. The works say he’s on his toes for an improved effort this time around and he comes off the best Beyer posted in his life.
Defending runner-up Castletown has the most back class of the bunch but needs to reach back for it to make up for last time. He wasn’t the favorite but he ran like a longshot, bringing up the caboose after dueling early. Now, you can say he just got cooked on the front end but what’s to say the tempo won’t be just as snappy in this race?


Race 8
#5 Melissa’s Shadow
#6 Royal Bluff
#3 Brooke Academy
 
Wagers
$1 Daily Double ($12 total)
2,3,5,6/5,7,9
$1 Exacta Box ($12 total)
2,3,5,6
A variety of races have brought these girls to this non-2 statebred claimer, but some have seen each other further into their past. The pace looks like it will be fair but not out of control, but regardless of your selection make sure you demand a fair price to go with her.
Melissa’s Shadow is with a new barn for the third time in the past year. She’s learned to close though in the recent months, and that could play to her favor if the fresh fillies to her inside go nuts up front. She’s been on a steady diet of half mile works to prepare for this until her recent 3/8 spin – and that was the fastest of the morning. She’s 1-15 but in this type of race that’s not all that scary.
Not to be outdone by the filly just inside of her, Royal Bluff seeks her second win in her 30th start. She’s six and it’s hard to expect the light bulb to go back on after this long in the non-2 ranks, but she gets a lot of slices to go with that lone win and she already has three starts this year. 
Could Brooke Academy steal this? It’s very possible, as she has the speed to motor to the front if the filly to her outside doesn’t bring her customary early wheels. She’s very consistent numbers-wise, and that could very well be good enough in this group of seven.
 
Race 9
#5 Galton
#9 Al’s Uncle
#7 Waronthehomefront
 
Wagers
$.10 Superfecta ($12 total)
5,7,9/5,7,9/1,3,4,5,6,7,9/1,3,4,5,6,7,9
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
5/1,3,4,6,7,9
The final race of the day is another that could be affected by the rains but if it stays on it’ll be one heck of a cherry on top. Our turf is good to front runners, and a lot of the lower-priced ML shots have early wheels. Not many would be a complete surprise though, so spread out the final leg of any horizontal plays…
Midwest Thoroughbreds entered two in this one with different conditioners, but one is in for the claiming tag and one is not. Galton is not up for sale and has already returned dividends for this barn since the claim in March. Though he was sprinting in his last two he’s quite familiar with two turns on the grass – this should be no problem as long as Goncalves can keep him out of trouble.
Trouble might be more of an issue with a horse lacking early speed like Al’s Uncle. He packs quite the stretch wallop with a clear lane but the last two fields he faced of this size beat him pretty badly. Still, the numbers are hard to ignore with this horse and he’s filled the exacta ten times. 
Age isn’t slowing Waronthehomefront down at all, and he keeps right on going at age seven for the Ulwellings. He needs to make up a little ground on the above choice but he has the tactical speed to keep himself glued to the front runner and perhaps avoid the traffic jam that could form. Rest is never a concern with him but the price is sure to be short.