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 friday, August 29 .....saturday, august 30....sunday, august 31 ....Monday, sept.1







Friday, August 29th
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#1 Oprah’s a Talker
#4 Haley’s Comet
#9 My Funny Gal
$.50 Pick Four ($40 total)
$1 Daily Double ($5 total)
Lots of turf maidens will get things going on Friday night. This bunch is without a turf start in their brief careers, but as a result the betting should be spread among some decent turf pedigrees. Who has the most foundation into them to go two turns for the first time and do it better than the rest?
The pedigree on Oprah’s a Talker speaks to turf, and she’ll be trying after three failed dirt sprint attempts.   Valorie Lund is having a great season on the grass and the daughter of Stormy Atlantic has more to draw from than some of the other likely favored lasses in this spot.   
Haley’s Comet has some potential on turf and enters with the same stablemate on the outside that beat her in their respective debuts. Derek Bell takes the call and could get a little more out of her in start two. A switch to slop might not hurt this one either, so keep her in mind should rain change things.
My Funny Gal is another that could relish the slop, and she’s already raced four times at two different venues. She’s been trying to chase some pretty fast ones, but maybe hopping over to the other course will shake her up. She shouldn’t be far behind early either, and Miss Keith knows what to do with a speedy horse on turf.

Race 2
#7 Boss Kitten
#3 Lizzi La Reina
#2 Lemonsrgoodongrass
$1 Pick Three ($20 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
This more experienced maiden group will fill the late part of the double, but not so experienced on grass. Quite a few exit race won by Gold Raj, and they weren’t all that far apart behind her. Try to score big on a turf pedigree or stick with the more reliable runners over the surface at this point?
Boss Kitten has been favored in all three of her trips over the local turf, and she’s got a close second in two of them. Franco has now got a feel for her after she began her career on turf with Lopez in the irons, but the price once again should be unappealing and she is really only bettable in exotics.
Liking BK means liking Lizzi La Reina again, and the speedier of those two drew towards the inside. She could see challenges on either side with the filly to her right adding blinkers and the one to her left exiting dirt sprints, but she can move right along and hang on anyway. She’s a player at a better price.
Lemonsrgoodongrass has some good turf races on her resume, but the problem is how long ago they took place. She ran twice at Gulfstream and managed to get one check in Florida, but she hasn’t returned as the same filly this year. Can she rebound with the switch? Surely plenty of money will lie here with the assumption she can.

Race 3
#9 Astarforbush
#10 Megastar
#6 Saratoga Boot
$1 Exacta ($8 total)
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
If you have the money, push the all button in the third. They’re about as tough as a turf group can get and there’s probably enough speed in the contest to keep things honest up front. If they all run their best race it’s a multiple dead-heat, but demand a price in any animal you end up on.
Valorie Lund’s Astarforbush should be a healthy price, he only has two races this year. He’s done quite well in the first two while surely needing both, and gets an outside draw for another try. There is some early speed here but it should set up a nice tracking trip if anyone on his inside goes bananas up front.
Megastar doesn’t have much early speed, but he showed tremendous early kick earlier this season on our grass. He hasn’t missed the board on the stuff yet but that same kick has been absent in his recent series of races. Gambling that he finds those legs again is accepting a likely underlay, but he fits here.
Saratoga Boot is hard to leave out, especially with the success that the Chambers barn has returning with winners. He’s another that’s been rock solid all season regardless of surface or distance, and Eddie Martin stays right here when it appears he had options.

Race 4
#2 Bosque Angel
#3 Burning Money
#1 Double Zap
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
$1 Pick Three($24 total)
There will be a lot of pick four tickets singled to a horse in the fourth. He’s a fashionable pick as he’s the only one coming down in price for this, but there are other possibilities in a race that could be sizzling early.
The likely huge favorite is Bosque Angel, and he is deserving of the support. The ascension to $12,500 was a little too much and another of his sort with blazing early speed stuck to him for the entire race, softening him for the closers to fill the exacta. He still ran well and could take these all the way.
Fans of Burning Money will be hoping that someone locks horns with that one early. He has some speed but probably not the kind ‘Angel possesses, and would likely do more damage from a stalking trip. The way the horses from the south have been picking off Canterbury runners, don’t leave him out.
Which Double Zap goes in the gate tonight? Last time he really appeared to have little excuse, but his prior races would keep him on the board at the very least. Yes, he won a five horse race but there aren’t all that many more in here and he can save some ground from the inside draw.

Race 5
#2 Save Your Story
#4 Red Headed Woman
#8 Rome
$.50 Pick Four ($30 total)
$.50 Trifecta ($13.50 total)
While the conditions outline that these are fillies that haven’t won in a while, they also are a group that don’t really count Canterbury as their favorite track. The late pick four begins in very evenly matched fashion.
Save Your Story has not been heavily raced this year but she and her regular partner Juan Rivera will try for a fifth time this season to get their first victory. She showed a closing kick last time that hasn’t really been in play in times past, and being one of the better local faces should make her close to the chalk.
Red Headed Woman has been a little camera shy in Shakopee, but her last two sprints have been two of her better races. She’s at least a 10 time winner elsewhere and can sweep everyone up should things melt down up front. The record over the local dirt is cause for pause on top but she should be in the picture late.
Rome gets the services of Dean Butler tonight and will at least only be making try four over this surface. She would probably like to be controlling things from the start but will have to fight for that right from her post…..could happen, and if she can get some confidence up front she may be gone.

Race 6
#4 Bells of Concerto
#9 Santa Fe Sue
#1 The Bosser
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
Drop, drop, drop from many corners for the sixth. Mares coming from many different levels meet for a $6,250 sprint but they’re actually coming off good efforts for the most part. The speed seems plentiful for anyone to make a charge from the back and that’s the way the program will lean.
Carreno nearly piloted Bells of Concerto into the winners’ circle two back but her rally came up just short of multiple-season winner Just Have’n Fun. She likes to wander a bit in the stretch so hopefully she’s not too far behind early but the last time she was against these types she won at Penn.
Santa Fe Sue PLUMMETS from allowance foes but she was last seen winning against other restricted mares in Iowa. She came up here for a couple of starts last year and was in at this price tag as well, so it’s not as concerning. She ran quite well in one of them when Butler was along for the ride, so why not try them again?
It took the Bosser a while to find a field she liked up here but she got them last time with a strong rally. Prior to that she wasn’t too far behind BOC. It’s a little disappointing to see Martin depart for another in this spot, but they both should be coming together at the end of things.

Race 7
#5 You Funny Man
#1 Dakota Mac
#4 Sneaky Blowout
$1 Daily Double ($5 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($20 total)
Don’t leave before the seventh, as a good horse race is set to come forth with the field assembled. They can be quite a speedy bunch at times, but using a good mix of both front runners and closers is recommended in horizontal wagers – These can pop up with a huge effort at any time regardless of style.
You Funny Man is one of the better Iowa-bred sprinters going right now, but he enters this year’s trip to Canterbury in a little different form than last year. There are fewer starts to him this year, and he exits a fourth in a very quick Statebred stake that he won in 2013.  His closing tendency may serve him well in here.
Dakota Mac is more of a guess, for he usually puts in a solid effort over our dirt but has been on the turf since his worst race yet over it. After a strong second behind Castletown he found Arlington a little too hard….he’s back but he obviously isn’t feeling as spry as he was in May. Hopefully the change of scenery makes him happy.
A big closing effort can usually be expected of Sneaky Blowout, but six has never really been a strength of his. He managed second last time but wasn’t gaining on the winner late, and was closing in at 6 ½ prior. It’s more tempting to let him stay in the bottom half of supers and hope his price drifts up. 

Race 8
#3 Jewel’s Honor
#7 Kaykay’s Slew
#10 Hoist Her Demi
$1 Exacta ($4 total)
$.50 Trifecta ($9 total)
One new face will join the lineup for the final race of the evening, and she’ll only add to a pace that should already be healthy. While the likely favorite can pass a horse or two, she seems to be a little better when she can stay in contact with the early leaders.
Jewel’s Honor has finally put up the white flag against special weights and will try claimers for the first time tonight. She also shortens up and moves off the turf. With a new jockey in Seth Martinez AND blinkers for the first time, she may be a whole new racehorse.
Kaykay’s Slew does have a little bit of a move to her, but she usually gets it going much too late after costing herself early. For some reason in her first two starts she’s taken a long while to get rolling, but when she does she picks off horses at will. Patrick Canchari sticks here and another big move might get her an even bigger piece tonight.
A tactical advantage comes with Hoist Her Demi, as she drew the far outside post in this crowded field. She has the speed to pressure anyone to her inside but she is willing to rate as well, but the options at least are there for Nik Goodwin and she’s still in the ‘Lightly Raced’ category.


Saturday, August 30
by Jeff Maday
Race 1
#8 Northampton Kid
#3 Hard Thunder
#2 Captain Payback
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
50 cent Pick Four ($36 total)
2,3,8 with 8 with 3,4,5,6,7,10,12 with 2,5,7
Food Truck Festival and tonight’s racing program have something in common: both offer many great options. However, with the racing side of the evening’s festivities there are no sure things. The food trucks are a guaranteed score.
Northampton Kid is a second time starter from the barn of perennial training champ Mac Robertson. Kid debuted at the same distance and surface as this race and finished a very respectable third. Expect this bred-for-grass colt to improve and win the Saturday opener with Alex Canchari in the saddle.
Hard Thunder is one of two from the Robertino Diodoro stable. He was making up ground facing the top choice and finished just a length behind. Jockey Franco goes to the other Diodoro runner, It’saboutjazz, but Carreno gets the call. He and Diodoro win together at a 25 percent clip. Both look live.
Mac has another runner too: Captain Payback for the Mentz and Larson partnership. Captain closed like crazy in his debut on dirt and should be able to do the same on turf. Not a surprise if Seth moves this colt into the picture late.
Race 2
#8 Hollywood Hottie
#6 Amica
#11 Julie’s Memory
$1 Exacta ($11 total)
6,8,11 over 3,5,8,10
50 cent Trifecta ($5.50 total)
8 over 6,11 over 3,4,5,6,9,10
A capacity field greets you for the evening’s second race: A turf claimer for horses looking for win number two. The speed is stacked on the outside so maybe a filly in form that is closer to the rail will prevail.
Hollywood Hottie, 6 to 1 on the morning line, ran third in her first try over turf, passing horses to do it. Eikleberry picks up the mount this time. The Iowa bred needs to improve in the speed figure department but has ability and should get a good trip. Very playable.
Amica is a bit of a mystery. She was claimed for $30,00o0in January but did not resurface until August 3 where she raced for $20,000 price tag. The effort was not awful but she never threatened to win. Now, second off the shelf, she drops in class yet again. The Ulwelling runners are starting to fire and this filly might be a solid price.
The Ulwellings have another in here as well, the speedy Julie’s Memory, who gets parked outside. She could be the speed of the speed but Lori Keith will need to use some energy to get out and over and that may factor later when this girl is asked to repel the challenge of the oncoming late runners. She has been inside in her last three turf races, ran second each time, but now must break from an outside post. That doesn’t make her an automatic also-ran, it just makes the task that much more difficult.
Race 3
#6 Duke of del Rey
#10 Unsaddled Glory
#3 Borealis Way
$1 Exacta Box ($8 total)
 6 with 3,7,10,12
$1 Pick Three ($12 total)
6 with 2,3,5,7 with 2,4,10
If race 2 seemed difficult, this race is not any easier. Another full field on the turf, this time at 1 mile and 70 yards. One could make a case for every horse here. None are in terrible form so there should be no head scratching at the conclusion. Dive in.
Duke of Del Rey seemed dull last time when handicappers expected a bigger effort. Mac has a morning drill in him since and drops the veteran down a notch. Canchari should get a tracking trip. The horse has the quality but in a very competitive race what might be lacking is proper wagering odds.
Unsaddled Glory, if you so desire, will be bombs away. He has a lone grass win in eight tries. In fact that win is the only time he has hit the board on the turf. But he has speed and a rider in D. Bell that can nurse a lead should he get it. This is a stretch but if somehow Bell works that trip it would not be a bad thing to have a couple of bucks right on the nose.
Borealis Way is obvious. He has two wins and a second in three turf tries. He draws inside and can press the pace to have first run at the speed. His jock is crushing on the grass as well. But this is the deepest field he has had to face yet. He should be in the mix.
Race 4
#7 Sugar Storm
#5 Laope
#2 Great Exuma
$1 Pick Three ($3 total)
7 with 2,4,10 with 1
50 cent Trifecta ($5 total)
5,7 over 2,3,7 over 2,6,7
This 5.5 furlong distance has consistently favored horses with early speed. There are several in here that can be right up in the hunt from the ring of the bell.
Sugar Storm was favored last time, made a strong move, but faded out. Butler should get a good journey tonight from that outside post. If he can avoid the equine sandwich and get room to run he will be right there late after sitting just off the front markers.
Laope is a speed freak. But he also is known to burn out. He was up by five lengths early last time but slowly regressed, eventually finishing fourth by more than six lengths. He definitely can lead the charge again and discourage those others that want the lead. Maybe Franco can ease off the gas just a hair in the first quarter mile and have something in the tank for the drive home. He has to cover less ground today. Definite danger as speed always is.
What to do with Great Exuma? He has no serious speed, has not been on the board in seven 2014 races, and ran with no impact last time. Yet the Riecken barn has delivered this season and this one seems to have one giant effort hidden somewhere. He won’t be on the lead and may need to overcome the track bias but something says he fires.
Race 5
#4 Six Ninety One
#2 Pea Shooter Pro
#10 Grand Full Moon
$1 Exacta ($9 wager)
2,4,10 over 2,4,5,10
50 cent Pick Four ($30 total)
2,4,10 with 1,3,4,6,9 with 3,4,8,9 with 10
The late pick four begins with a 2-year-old maiden race and some first time starters that look like they could challenge the morning line favorite.
Six Ninety One makes his debut for trainer Vic Hanson. Eikleberry is aboard this one and the morning workouts suggest some talent. Hanson has been known to have an occasional first timer that simply runs off and hides and this could be that one. The purchase price was hefty and the sire can get early winners.
Grand Full Moon will take money just like he did when he debuted. In fact, the first time he was entered he got bet down but escaped prior to the race and was scratched. August 3 he made it to the starting gate, was hammered to even money, but had to settle for second. He returns with two works, a set of blinkers and Seth Martinez. The one to beat.
Mac Robertson doesn’t miss this party. He has a well bred debut runner with Pea Shooter Pro. The dam was a stakes winner and the sire produces. He may want to go a longer distance but he certainly can be good enough to win tonight.

Race 6
#1 Incisive
#3 Flashy Em
#9 Leroidessioux
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
50 cent Trifecta ($8 total)
1,3 over 9 over 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10
Bottom level claimers line up to sprint and many have good early speed.
Incisive was a non factor last time. Pitch that effort and look at the other past performances and he fits this race. He is versatile and should track nicely from that inside post. Canchari vacates but Eddie Martin Jr. gets aboard. Big morning line suggests fair value on a consistent runner.
Flashy Em just won here in his first local dirt race. The Iowa bred bested a field of MN bred runners with a pressing trip and a strong finish. This is another that Canchari rode last time. Eikleberry picks up the mount on a 4-year-old coming off a top speed figure effort. He might regress a bit this time but sure to be close early.
So where does Canchari go? To the closer Leroidessioux and the gary Scherer barn. This 6-year-old was favored last time and did not disappoint the punters that piled on. He came from the clouds to get up by a half length. Expect to see him flying late.
Race 7
#9 One Hot Tamolly
#4 Show Me Quick
#5 Foxy Lady Packin
$5 Double ($5 total)
9 with 10
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
4,9 over 3,4,8,9
Several in this field appear to be making a career out of seeking a second career victory. The distance favors horses placed close to the lead early and a couple of the more lightly raced runners seem to have the requisite speed.
One Hot Tamolly ships and dips from Iowa. She was behind horses in her most recent race but her best comes when on or near the lead and Alex Canchari should be able to coax enough from her to be part of the pace. Big morning line on a filly with speed figures good enough to win!
Show Me Quick is another Iowa invader. She finished behind Tamolly last time but had the lead initially and can get it again tonight. Shino takes the call on a horse he has ridden to victory. Much to like including the 12 to 1 morning line. She may need to deal with morning line favorite Urmybaby but that one really dropped out hard last time.
Foxy Lady Packin has not won in ages and is 0 for 15 over the Shakopee strip. New Prague’s own Jenna Joubert is in town to ride. This mare should get on the ticket.
Race 8
#10 Colette’s Secret
#6 Docs Miss Victory
#3 Play N Truth
10 cent Superfecta ($4.20 total)
10 over 3,6 over 3,5,6,9 over ALL
50 cent Trifecta ($4 total)
10 over 3 over ALL
You might be able to make one final foray into the Food Truck Festival and then make it all back in the nightcap. These maiden claimers for the most part lack form so unless there is some seismic shift that defies reality, one of the favorites is likely to prevail.
 Colette’s Secret and Ry Eikleberry are the logical choice and it may simply be this 5-year-old’s turn to win. She has decent speed so she will be close and not bothered by the others. High percentage barn should get the job done this time. Here is the caution flag: she has already lost twice this season as the betting favorite.
Play N Truth is an option. She beat Colette’s Secret when they met August 1. Maybe she was just in the right place as Colette faded. In either case she is in decent form, she came back to run well against much better on the turf, and has a record of hitting the board.
Docs Miss Victory is a wild card. She has never covered a route of ground. Often sprinters on the stretch out show early speed. If Dieguez can get her on the front she could just steal this from a bunch that easily surrenders when faced with adversity. Not a bad option as the top two likely will be bet into the ground.
Sunday, August 31st
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#6 Dirt Road Queen
#3 Furys Folly
#5 Good Eye
$2 Daily Double ($2 total)
$1 Exacta ($2 total)
The Festival of Champions not only celebrates the native horses and their connections, but often clears some pictures in year-end honors. The quarter horse races that start things off should have two of the heavier favorites of the afternoon, and one of them is a leading candidate for Horse of the Year. 
Dirt Road Queen seeks her fourth stakes win in a row. All except for one have lost to the Queen this year and she gets to cut back to the distance of a pair of her stakes wins. There’s no real case to be mounted against her and she’ll be the deserving Derby favorite.
Furys Folly gave that one a good run in the Morehouse two back and has won since that time. She has been for sale each time she’s cashed though, and has to find a way to get around DRQ to get two in a row. The Hardy trainee has had a fine summer up here and should be somewhere in the mix.
The top selection’s stablemate will break right next to her. Good Eye gets Derek Bell for the first stakes assignment since June and enters off a win against softer. She got close at 15-1 last year in the Futurity but that high note didn’t carry into this spring….that last race may be just what she needed to get back on track.

Race 2
#7 Tty From Mr Pye
#4 Cokato Cartel
#8 Fishin in the Brook
$.50 Trifecta ($4.50 Total)
$1 Pick Three ($12 total)
Five fresh off their maiden score are among the nine for the Futurity, and only three entered have faced winners.   The betting for this race is likely to go the same way as in the first – Only a few horses in the single digits on the board. Anything can happen with two year old quarter horses, but there really is a standout.
Though Tty From Mr Pye is a recent maiden winner, he’s also just a neck away from being a stakes winner. 35-1 that day plummeted to 1-5 when victorious at a slightly shorter trip. This guy’s getting better with each start and he really doesn’t need to improve much to come out on top in here. 
Cokato Cartel has been taking it easy lately but has worked well in her absence. This filly is the Petersens’ hope to sweep the early double should Dirt Road Queen or Good Eye capture the first. She’ll be asked to go further than she has before but things improved drastically when she got here….she could fire fresh.
Shane Miller’s two year olds both won their first starts. The outside drawn Fishin in the Brook enters out of a couple of trial races at this distance but needs to pack a little more punch at the end of things to keep up with the one to his immediate inside.

Race 3
#5 Two Chance
#4 A P Is Loose
#3 Francis Henry
$.10 Superfecta ($4.80 total)
$1 Exacta ($8 total)
The rare Minnesota non-3 allowance on the turf starts thoroughbred racing off, and it’s a popular choice among horseman with 12 in the gate. A P Is Loose beat a few in here last time around, and not many outside of that heat have been on turf consistently as of late.
Horses from that race should make at least a little bit of impact in this heat, but maybe Two Chance can turn the tables on ‘A P. He has very good early speed and if Shino can get a step ahead of the rest he could keep going. There are already 8 races behind him this year, but maybe he’s got another good one in there.
A P Is Loose looked impressive rattling along on the front end last time, and proved that he can handle an off course just as well as a firm one. His main weapon, like TC, is his speed and the hope is that these two don’t tie up and burn out. There’ve been ups and downs to his three year old season but he’s coming into the festival on a big ‘up’.
Francis Henry’s only tried the turf a handful of times but his last race was a far cry from the rest. He relaxed that day for Canchari and could stand to get a good trip if the top two choices go head to head on the front end. He has some things to prove in the class department but at least his form is headed the right way.

Race 4
#2 Gypsy Melody
#1 Somerset Swinger
#5 Polar Plunge
$.50 Trifecta ($9 total)
$1 Pick Three ($24 total)
The long awaited meeting of Sky and Sea and her stakes elders comes in the fourth, the Minnesota Distaff Sprint Championship. She carries with her two straight stakes victories against a group that cumulatively has only one….but the price on her is likely to be a little low and there’s some good ones inside of her in the gate.
Gypsy Melody may have been in a little tough last time but she was closing late on a filly that eventually won the Hoist Her Flag up here. Prior to that she won the Lady Slipper in powerful fashion over many in this spot. Is she that same filly after being off for so long? That snappy little half mile on the 27th says so.
Last year’s game victress Somerset Swinger is another factor in the sprint, but she does have a little ground to make up on the top choice. Throw out the Princess Elaine and she makes all sorts of sense to pick up her sixth win on the local grounds. She could get a very cozy trip under Canchari…
Polar Plunge knows a thing or two about winning this race, as she was the champ in 2012 before falling short by a head in last year’s edition. She’s had some tough customers to look in the eye lately and getting back to what she does best should get her closer today than she’s been lately.   

Race 5
#3 Congrats and Roses
#5 Talkin Bout
#1 Dear Fay
$.50 Pick Four ($45 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
The Distaff Classic Championship features the two time defending champion and last year’s exacta returning to do battle in a compact group. Mac Robertson seems to hold the aces in the Classic but all of them own multiple wins over the main track.
She’s spent her year sprinting but Congrats and Roses has been sharp in both efforts against open company. Her stablemate Noelle’s Quay just nabbed her last time but getting back to two turns off that race should put her ahead of most, if not all, of these. A sharp work a few days ago says she’s ready for a big effort.
In five starts on Canterbury dirt Talkin Bout has not missed the exacta. She fires well fresh and has been rested since a fast closing third in the Princess Elaine on grass. Eddie Martin guided her to a win on the grass in late May and will be back aboard here hoping for a little help pace-wise in front of him.
Dear Fay has now won four of her last five and will move to the main track for the first time in over a year. She did win at 6 ½ last year on the dirt and is even better at age five than she was then…..but that barnmate of hers is no joke and she’ll have to run a lot faster than she ever has on the main oval.

Race 6
#3 Sioux Appeal
#5 Castle Queen
#10 North Sky
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($4 total)
The two year old boys and girls take their turn next, with the girls leading the way in the Northern Lights Debutante. They exit a few common races for the most part, and the finishes to most of them really weren’t even close. These blowout winners are going to be your favorites, and deservingly so.
Sioux Appeal was the first Minnesotan two year old that Mac debuted this year, and she ran a beauty in her first outing. Both in the paddock and on track she looked rather professional for a two year old, and when asked she drew away to win by 6 ½. Now, that was back in early July but she’s worked well for her return. 
Castle Queen didn’t start her career in her home state, but she started off well in Iowa before making her way up here with a new set of blinkers, They got her moving out of the gate in her second start and it was over rather quickly….her experience and speed will make some noise in this group.
An interesting new item is Sky and Sea’s younger sister, North Sky. She’s been working well for Rhone leading up to this debut – It’s not a common move to see them start one off in this deep of water, so something must be there. If she’s anything like her sister, this could be a runaway.

Race 7
#8 Hold for More
#3 Prayintheprairie
#6 Minnie Soda Nice
$.50 Trifecta ($6 total)
$1 Exacta ($8 total)
The boys aren’t quite as contentious looking on paper and the field is slightly smaller. Of course, the firsters could be anything and they deserve another look….if you like any of them that looks like about the only way to take a clever stance in the Northern Lights Futurity.
Hold for More responded with the blinkers being added last time, but didn’t run poorly behind Prayintheprairie in his first start either. He didn’t seem to want to go up the inside but came back for second late while not threatening the winner. The tables could be turned here with his outside draw…
Prayintheprairie of course holds the speed in here but with so many firsters likely to want to just go for it out of the gate he may see a challenge or two. No one may be able to keep up with him and he’ll forget to stop, but he showed what could happen if headed in his first start.
Minnie Soda Nice comes from a barn that can get a first timer into the circle at the decent number, and have them ready of minimal works. He put in a very fast one at the beginning of the month and sure looks fit enough for his debut. It’s an ambitious spot but he wouldn’t have to be a complete monster.

Race 8
#9 Command the Land
#1 Bourbon County
#10 Heliskier
$.50 Pick Four ($36 total)
$.50 Trifecta ($9 total)
Only using three in the Sprint is ill-advised, as this may be the most difficult leg of the late pick four. They’re a very much speed-laden group, but the temptation is to use at least one speedster in amongst some stalking types just in case theft can somehow still take place….
Command the Land has had an eventful year. He’s spent most of it in Chicago with Tammy Domenosky, and seems to be much more adept to closing at this point in his career than he used to be. Though he did it against some restricted claimers, Command the Land could love a pace duel more than any of them and the price could be fair.
Bourbon County obviously didn’t like something on July 11th but has been laid off since that time to prepare for this spot. When he enters fresh he’s usually a tiger on the front end, but one of the fastest of them all early drew immediately to his right. On his game though, he’s hard to run down. 
How can Heliskier return to Minnesota and not even get a mention? He may not be 100% of what he used to be, but he’s still the defending champion and he drew outside to try and win again. At least he was feeling good before he left Chicago, and it’d be a heck of a way to avenge the 10,000 Lakes.
Race 9
#7 Coconino Slim
#2 Sheer Trick
#3 Ghost Dance
$1 Pick Three ($6 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
A relatively paceless renewal of the Minnesota Classic Championship carries the card on. Though at times the rest can lead the way, the title-holder in this event seems to have the controlling speed or could sit just off a friend of his from the same stable.
Coconino Slim wasn’t quite right until last time when he and Alex Canchari got through for a win at 9-1 on the turf. Certainly the price will be a fraction of that but things seem to be pointing this direction including the pace. If he can carry that run back to the dirt he’s won on four times, it could be game over early.
Clay Brinson and Sheer Trick will be hoping that something wild happens up front to set up his late rally, but the chances aren’t great. He’s been having a fine summer, picking up checks every time he goes to post including a resounding win last time on turf. There are still more wins on the dirt in his history and that can only mean good things for today.
Ghost Dance, too, comes off the turf course but he’s done his better running in the past few years over that surface. He hasn’t been disgraced with a couple of second place efforts on our main track including in this race last year, but he wasn’t threatening the winner that day and hasn’t been in the circle all year.
Race 10
#5 Mimi’s Obsession
#1 Naomi Ridge Esq.
#3 Sweet Tango
$1 Daily Double ($6 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($4 total)
To the misfortune of the inside four, they all like to be in the first flight and they all drew right next to one another. At least on paper this turf allowance looks like it may favor a horse that can rate, but watch the earlier turf races to see if the track is playing to one style or another.
At least from that pace-oriented standpoint, Mimi’s Obsession looks like she stands a big advantage. She didn’t make a bad close into third two back behind open company but last time a dirt sprint didn’t go so well for her. Hernandez has been riding her well though, and it seems she’s finally figured it all out.
Naomi Ridge Esq. doesn’t necessarily need the lead but given her rail draw her options could be limited to avoid traffic. Rivera hasn’t missed the mark on her either, as they’ve made quite the team this summer on the grass. She and the next filly mentioned may be able to shake loose if they get lucky….
Sweet Tango hasn’t seen victory since June but she’s also taken a step up the class ladder since that time. She hasn’t been restricted to statebreds in a year and that alone should get her much closer to victory this time around. Her speed has worked on this turf course before but only once in six tries.
Race 11
#7 Street Fighting
#3 Sassy Prance
#4 Deliberate Haste
$1 Exacta ($8 total)
$.10 Superfecta Box ($12 total)
Bernell Rhone will try to close Festival Day a winner with a couple of turf horses of different genders. They took to the track together on July 25th as well, that time on the dirt. Street Fighting got the better of his female counterpart that day, but today they are on her playing field….
Street Fighting doesn’t have a bad pedigree for turf at all though, and given his natural early speed going long he could keep himself up front most of the way. He ran a gutsy race in trying to hold off Vanderbilt Beach but couldn’t do it in his first try around two turns. The Minnesota Derby was obviously too much, but this should be more his speed.
Sassy Prance should appreciate the rematch going to the green, but she is starting to develop an alarming trend. While she has a nice late rally that’s got awfully close a few times, she still has not closed the deal in seven starts with fields easier than these males. Hmmm….
Deliberate Haste was trying his heart out on the outside last time but couldn’t quite get up to catch Luxury and Glitter in the final yards. He still improved drastically in his first try over the grass and that race sets him up better than most in this spot to at least get another piece of the pie.