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  thursday, sept 3.....friday, sept 4 ....Saturday, sept 5.....sunday, sept 6

Mystic Lake Derby analysis


by Angela Hermann




Angela's Season Statistics:  174 for 582      30%    .85 ROI


Friday, September 4th  
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#2 Heidi’s In Charge
#8 Punky B
#6 Chrys Niki
$.50 Pick Four ($32 total)
$1 Daily Double ($8 total)
Some turf races for juveniles have been run this season at Canterbury, but usually at least one of the babies in the gate has touched the stuff at some point or another. In this case, we are working with a ZERO in turf experience and a very live also-eligible should she draw in….check scratches and paddock manners for the first more than the others tonight!
On top of all the two-year-old fillies having no turf runs behind them, none have been further than 5 ½ furlongs with the exception of that AE. Heidi’s In Charge has five races under her belt though – some are making their debut in here—and with those steady runs she’s been putting in a bit of extra distance and a change in venue may be just the ticket to get the ball rolling.
Punky B is a contender in all respects: Her runner-up races behind talented runners, her speed and her connections being apt with these conditions. Amoss is excellent at spotting a turf filly when she’s walking his shedrow, and even though she’s been running well on the main track she deserves a shot to try something different when her pedigree says she could enjoy it a lot.
Gary Scherer runners usually draw wagering support when they try the turf for the first time but Chrys Niki may go off at a fair number considering the 11-1 price she’s been in both of her first tries. She has the speed to contend the entire way just like ‘Punky and she wasn’t far behind that one in the debut run….Velazquez rides plenty of winners from this barn and she’d be no surprise to add to that tally.

Race 2
#3 Initiative
#2 Shakin Schiller
#8 Lookin at Larry
$1 Exacta ($6 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
The second is no surprise as being a turf race, but it has a surprising common tie with the first race. All ten of these non-3 claimers raced on dirt last time and only two of them have ever won on the turf in their past… of those winners is a mare trying the boys at five furlongs to try and get back on the winning track.
That fleet lady is the only winner at five furlongs on grass but to be fair, she’s had three times as many starts as Initiative. He doesn’t do “restraint” but Carreno used that blazing early speed to knock out his first two conditions with ease; even if he bit off more than he could chew in his last couple there’s no reason he can’t rebound with a new surface and less ground to cover.
Tom Amoss is very, very good with his new claims but this meet hasn’t been particularly kind to them. He picked up Shakin Schiller in July and decided that rest was in order……of course, another category the barn holds a high strike rate with is this sort of layoff but the lone mediocre half mile between races can be viewed as a bit of a concern.
Longshot Lookin at Larry certainly doesn’t have many fond memories with him from turf racing but that’s only from two tries in the past. He’s comparatively fresh next to some of those in the gate next to him and Sanchez has options with the variant running style this one has….the price is usually generous and that big race usually comes out of him when least expected.

Race 3
#5 Fog Happens
#11 Bluegrass Lucy
#3 Natalies Storm
$.10 Superfecta ($10.80 total)
$1 Exacta ($3 total)
The fillies and mares assembled for the final turf race of Friday racing are very popular at the claim box. Hidden Edge beat a handful in gate-to-wire fashion on August 21st but the complexion of this one looks entirely different….speed is stacked in here from end to end of the gate and the pace should be far more demanding.
Midwest runner Fog Happens doesn’t love falling far behind but she’s in a perfect position to get a stalking trip behind many unwilling to press the pace. Sure, Goncalves bids her adieu but Carreno has done well with the limited mounts he’s had for the Keen barn….she may not pay truckloads but she’s awfully hard to overlook.
Bluegrass Lucy will be a better price and she has quite a few tables to turn in this spot. Ok, so she’s lost to a handful of runners to her inside but could the setup look much better for a horse with her style and post? She and Nolan could scoot over quickly from the outside and if the same rally’s in there as last time she could be in the picture late.
Natalies Storm won’t be crawling along as she was the last time we saw her score on the turf, but that price is much too appealing to resist. The year’s gone well for this six-year-old despite all of her work coming on dirt recently; the works say she’s staying sharp and has been simply waiting for a spot like this to come up for her return to our grass.

Race 4
#4 She’s Coal Hearted
#3 Queen Otaheite
#1 Oriental Secret
$.10 Superfecta ($6 total)
$1 Pick Three ($18 total)
The early pick four ends with the fourth – A group very familiar with the $6,250 level. Four of them exit races run a week apart and at this point in the meet a filly’s rest can factor in during the stretch drive….this 5 ½ furlong distance could be the only difference that the heavy morning-line favorite needs to clear this condition.
Joel Berndt’s had to gradually ease She’s Coal Hearted down the class ladder but she got her way on July 24th when dropped in with this kind for the first time. Her early wheels found her on the front end the entire way, and she nearly duplicated that a few weeks later going six furlongs. Had the race been today’s distance she’d probably already be a three time winner.
Just to her left is hard-trying Queen Otaheite. She chased the heavy favorite in vain when touching Canterbury soil for the first time but bravely kept on for second; both of her career scores have come on said surface so she surely appreciated getting back to it rather than the polytrack she’d been on all summer.
For a barn that usually claims and wins within a start or two, the Diodoro barn’s had trouble figuring out how to get Oriental Secret going like she was at Tampa. This filly is not a win machine but she usually got some piece of the purse against this sort….maybe that work the other day indicates that they’ve turned a corner with her and Carreno taking the mount is never a bad thing.

Race 5
#5 Grand Fashioned
#4 Congratulate Me
#1 Malibu Pro
$.50 Pick Four ($36 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
Some newbies join the game in race five this evening, and in a short field we still have a fun handicapping puzzle. Just like the first race of the night, get a look in the paddock….the lights and hoopla of racing can get to those unaccustomed to it and even the most talented of runners can lose it in the preparation for race time.
Eric Heitzmann entered two but the nod goes to the outside colt Grand Fashioned. He raced against his stablemate in the debut but it looked like more a learning experience than a test of this one’s true ability; he drew great to utilize that stalking style he showed on August 2nd and keep in mind he was the more heavily bet of the barnmates the day they met and the works looked a little more brisk.
First-timer Congratulate Me leads the way with sparkling workouts but it’s still just his first start. All the perfect practice in the morning doesn’t necessarily translate to success in the afternoon…..but if he’s anything like the other two-year-olds he’s been keeping company with in those workouts he should be a handful for the rest. The price may not be appealing but Padilla’s tipped his hand on this $140,000 purchase…..he has speed.
The gate breezes also indicated that Malibu Pro has some early zip, but the follow-through was absent in start number one a couple of weeks ago. Hey, that was just his first run and it was from the rail so it can be forgiven….but the post position gods dealt him the same blow for his second start and the early pace doesn’t look like it’s going to be a cakewalk to keep up with.

Race 6
#1 Unique Gold
#4 Sam Scored a Goal
#3 Holy Brass
$1 Pick Three ($18 total)
$1 Exacta ($9 total)
On occasion one of the usual suspects leaves this group of Minnesota-bred maidens. For the most part things stay the same with the lineup though, and it’s easy to pick out the horses that aren’t going to be around long and the ones that are going to get into double digits before they sneak into non-2 company. Usually the victors have speed -- but in the sixth tonight, it appears the group has too much of a good thing in that respect…..
Pete Mattson’s Unique Gold needed a ton of time off from age two to three, but it appears thing are back on track. One could not really ask for much better of a comeback effort from him even though he did tire in the stretch; that race was a half furlong longer than tonight’s assignment and the leaders should be tiring just like last time.
If one of these nine is to go wire-to-wire, shouldn’t it be Sam Scored a Goal? He did everything but win a headbob last time and that was only his second trip to greet the starter; Stevens is interested in riding the inexperienced gray but he knows exactly what to do with a speedster like this. Catch him to cash.
Holy Brass has been in front for about half his career….but never at the wire. He should add to an already hot-looking pace but he’s got to atone for a horrific defeat last time around; Franco seemed to get along with him better than Carreno and it’s nice to see him interested in riding again.

Race 7
#9 Sampson County
#6 Alexander
#7 Bristol Rover
$1 Daily Double ($12 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
Horses from Prairie Meadows have been enjoying mixed success upon their arrival in Minnesota. Some horses need time to acclimate and adjust to a different type of dirt, so don’t be surprised to see some Iowans step up their game both in this seventh race and the rest of the season as they continue to enter.
He never visited Altoona, but Sampson County has more than his share of frequent flier miles in his seventeen race career. He took his sweet time to get win number one but it was just his second effort at Canterbury; that maiden win was a doozy and it’s nice to see the connections so impressed with what they’ve seen since that they think he can do it again going shorter than he ever has before.
For fans of the lighter raced horse, Alexander is making his fifth start tonight and first away from Iowa. If you’re willing to pardon the trouble he caused for himself at the gate on Independence Day he’s a solid runner at this level; things may be different now that he has to face winners but his speed should keep him involved at least part of the way.
Bristol Rover was in the same boat as Alexander at the beginning of their year down south but he graduated just a bit earlier in the summer. The two efforts in Shakopee have yielded similar looking show finishes…..why not use him in this spot with the hope that history repeats itself once again with a similar looking setup?

Race 8
#2 Jumpin Jimineys
#5 Bold Entry
#3 Runaway Chance
$.50 Trifecta ($6 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
The local that wins the last is going to get their first victory at 6 ½ furlongs. It’s not a common distance carded for the statebred sprinters but maybe it’ll shake these fellas up – Most are getting a break with class in here and some have only been out of maiden races for a short time. It’d be surprising to see a giant favorite in here but even if Bold Entry takes a boatload of cash, behind him it gets murky…..
Even with favorites doing as well as they have in these claimers all summer, things can turn around at the end of the meet and Jumpin Jimineys seems to be one of the few in here that’s heading the right way in his form. His wet track races aside, he really is a good fit against this group and he rarely goes off undervalued; the extra real estate plays into his hooves a lot better than the others.
Yes, Bold Entry is the one to beat with a hefty class move but isn’t that a little concerning too? He’s been tossed around by the best three-year-olds this year and he returns to a similar looking bunch that he beat opening day….but nothing in his races since that time says that he’s got a whole lot better while some of the others seemed to have stepped up their game as they’ve raced. 
Runaway Chance has a similar story to tell as that one, but he missed the chance to faced age-restricted company with his late start to the races. The best allowance runners bred in Minnesota are just a little too much for him at this point so he’s for sale for the first time; as long as he can go back to the horse he was in June or July he can compete with these.
Thursday, September 3rd  
By Angela Hermann

Race 1

#1 Cal’s Pal
#4 Play N Truth
#7 Greeley’s Gazette
$.50 Pick Four ($64 total)
$1 Daily Double ($8 total)
The first night of September racing is here… the season draws to a close, opportunities are running out for Minnesota maidens to stick with one another rather than try open company. As a result, many of the fillies & mares in the first are in for cheaper than they’ve been recently in search of a victory.
Cal’s Pal has encountered a few speed bumps on her way to this fifth race of her 2015 season. She appeared to be building momentum in June but something prompted a move to the shelf; she probably needed both of her comeback efforts to get in shape as she doesn’t appear to be a real workout monster. She needn’t be much better than she was June 28th to be a major player in here.
Play N Truth has the best figure from her last race but my oh my… she bettable after 32 losses? She registers a zero in the early speed department but that may not matter if the rest of these wear themselves out on the front end or chasing the pace….you know what you’re getting with her and that’s a mare that can pass slowly but surely.
Larry Donlin puts Hernandez back in the saddle on Greeley’s Gazette seeking to avenge the lost photo on the turf August 22nd. She doesn’t get much rest in preparation for this but that was a huge step forward from the so-so-efforts she’d posted prior.   This one could be leading the way early and that may be all she needs to get her first win in stat #6.

Race 2
#4 Bellamy Run
#8 Shock the Clock
#3 Bright House
$.50 Trifecta ($15 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
Turf experience will draw money in this Maiden Special Weight…..a good percentage of these lost to Big Commission last time and with clean trips for most it’d be surprising to see the running order from that day shaken up. In this category of Canterbury race the favorites win an obnoxious amount of the time and it’s a rare condition where they’re a profitable bet as well.
That being said, let’s find a longshot in a different race and hope that Bellamy Run turns in his usual solid performance. He nearly graduated last time with his typical rally but had to settle for another runner-up finish as the favorite. This Midwest runner doesn’t raise as many questions as his competition and without many ways to pick him apart, he’s the one to beat.
The price will most certainly be better with Shock the Clock than the top choice but counting on him to show up hasn’t been easy this year. He and the likely favorite may enjoy similar trips in this race and if that’s the case, they may be pretty close together at the wire like they were on August 21st.
While there are others with some turf form to them, Bright House is going to try both the grass and the two-turn game for the first time. He has plenty of pedigree on his bottom side to enjoy such a thing and he hasn’t really shown a sprinter’s burst of speed thus far in his three starts…..this may be right up his alley and the price should be most appealing here of the three picks.

Race 3
#5 Miserable Blue
#7 Lemonsrgoodongrass
#11 Kitten de Pere
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
$.10 Superfecta Box ($ total)
The second turf race of the night is for females and quite a few square off again after meeting in the past at this level. As far as wagering goes, it’s a little easier to pick out underneath possibilities than the top choice as a few have developed a pattern of getting close without a cigar….
The signals from Miserable Blue are mixed at best, but she ends up back on our turf for a third time this season after breaking her maiden in a blowout on the main track. She probably faced the toughest of the group in her Maiden Special Weight debacles earlier this season but obviously the light bulb has come on big time; she and Scott Stevens shouldn’t be under duress to stay close to the lead in here and another effort like her last could reverse her previous fortunes on our lawn.
Lemonsrgoodongrass has always been right there since departing from Florida but she has just one win to show from her numerous good efforts at short prices. All four times she’s run on the sod she’s cracked the trifecta and didn’t really threaten the winner until her most recent…..does she have another move forward in her or is that the best we’re going to get again?
Kitten de Pere is really stacking up the efforts as a beaten favorite since her maiden score last March at Turf Paradise, and the unfavorable post draw makes her an attractive bet-against in here. Interestingly the pilot that was aboard for her only win is on the top choice and Franco is on this one, but they have some ground to make up on a few in here and the price should not be savory once again.

Race 4
#4 National
#5 Pendulum
#6 Secretsatmidnight
$1 Pick Three ($18 total)
$.50 Trifecta Box ($12 total)
The fourth field of the day will need to turn things around to come up with victory in here, and for the most part for these it’s a long time between drinks. Even having a win this year divides the field and leaves a good percentage of the firepower with one barn.
National is an easy horse to like with his local record – He has as many wins as the rest of the field combined. He didn’t exactly hit the pine on a sour note but in looking back at how well he runs fresh, why not give him a breather? This isn’t a panicky type of drop and the pace is definitely in here to set up his late kick….those two morning half miles say we have a spry horse on our hands. 
If one’s ability to conquer 6 ½ furlongs stands as a major factor in your handicapping, Pendulum has to look pretty appealing at 10-1. He’s enjoyed a fine summer in Shakopee and looks to add a third win to his tab….maybe leaving the turf and staying a bit closer to the pace will turn things around in this corner after coming home fifth as the beaten favorite a month ago.
Yes, Secretsatmidnight has obviously lost a step but will this giant drop make things all better? The figures are gaudy but all the biggies are a long way in the rear view mirror; not many go on to improve after leaving Bob Baffert’s care in California but the barn he calls home now is unafraid to put him exactly where he needs to be in order to be competitive.

Race 5
#6 Bold Entry
#2 Prince Demidoff
#5 Flower Addie
$.50 Pick Four ($45 total)
$1 Exacta ($2 total)
The non-2 division of Minnesota-bred races tends to get repetitive with combatants in the middle of the season, and the fifth of the evening is a nice change of pace in that respect with new faces showing up from different spots. Though closers have been doing much better lately than their speedy counterparts, things still tend to favor horses with even a touch of early pace to them….
Bold Entry kicked off his three-year-old campaign with a bang but that bang has gone bust when tested against the best of his generation. The speed’s still there and even if he doesn’t get the lead he shouldn’t have trouble staying with the leaders; the only time he faced sellers he won and maybe a return to their ranks will put some pep back in his step.
Prince Demidoff ran into a lone speed horse last time but he didn’t quit in the late stages to hang on for the exacta honors. With some selective forgiveness he’s a nice fit against this field and Goncalves has ridden the majority of the winners for the Bethke barn this summer…..the price will probably be better on this runner than the top choice but the record is a little harder to stomach.
The lone filly in the group Flower Addie will try her luck against males for the second time this season. The first time it happened she held her own just behind ‘Prince; after waiting for some room she managed to sneak into the trifecta but may not find the pace setup as soft as she needs to be at her best.

Race 6
#3 Mizzen In Action
#8 Show Me Quick
#5 Princess Gina
$.50 Trifecta ($9 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($6 total)
If you didn’t go with many in the first leg of the pick four, this could be the race that demands going with many runners. Watching previous races at Prairie Meadows can provide some clues as to who’s going to run well in here as several spend the first half of their summers there….and the local contingent isn’t exactly in their sharpest form.
We haven’t seen her yet up here, but Mizzen in Action has run against some others that’ve raced here. Using a couple of them as a yardstick makes her a big threat against this cheaper group than she’s been running with lately….she took money against more expensive horses to so the crowd saw something they liked with her in just five lifetime starts.
Show Me Quick ran a dazzler in her third Canterbury effort. It’s easy to be charmed by the fact that she nearly pulled off the upset at 7-1 but keep in mind that all three races up here have ended in similar fashion for her; she should take more action on the tote board this time around as well and the value should be lacking. 
Princess Gina has never crossed the line first but she did defeat a much more expensive group after some stretch bumping two back. Her efforts against claimers have been easily her best and if you’ve determined that turf isn’t her thing she’s very usable in here. The figures are extremely consistent and the connections have won a ton of races all meet long.

Race 7
#1 Seek the Noblest
#3 Purimeter
#4 Sammy’s Mineshaft
$1 Daily Double ($12 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($12 total)
Though the featured seventh race isn’t restricted to three-year-olds, they’re all that showed up to fill the eight horse field and a few of them are trying the two-turn game for the first time. On average the winners have been only a length or two off the pace in the early stages of the race and that could actually help the stretching sprinters….
Seek the Noblest has been on a nice sequence leading up to this try at a route for the first time. Each extra half furlong added to his task got him closer to the winners’ circle until last time he got the job done at 6 ½. This added distance shouldn’t be asking too much and at least from the inside Goncalves can save ground on the others even if the gas tank does get a little meek late.
Purimeter chased that one home two back but beat a big favorite last time in breaking his maiden going much shorter. Obviously they thought he might like going a route of ground when they entered this guy on the turf in his second start but maybe it was the surface that got him that day rather than the distance; the steps forward he’s taken are encouraging and the price should be square.
Sammy’s Mineshaft is at least proven doing this sort of thing as he stole a maiden event on August 7th in his eleventh try. Watch Bellamy Run earlier in the card to flatter this one’s form should he break his maiden…..even if he does this one will be hard pressed to have his head in front every step of the way again. 

Race 8
#8 Fire Game
#2 Command the Land
#10 Talk the Walk
$.10 Superfecta ($14 total)
$1 Exacta Box ($10 total)
Speed, speed, speed. How do you pick through the cast of the eighth?! The morning line choices seem to like being in control of everything up front and that just isn’t going to come easy in a field of ten….while not many mega-bombs come to life at this level it’s not out of the question in the last. 
Fire Game hasn’t made much impact on runners at this level yet but he hasn’t been blown away by them either. In fact, he’s come across some of the better individuals to win races in these bottom-level claiming ranks and this in a sense is some relief. Last time he found a horse on a tear and the track was very speed favoring, unless it’s that way tonight he should show up with a better performance at a price.
The stewards stepped in and elevated Command the Land to his first victory of the year last time, but the finish itself looked all too familiar. He’s been involved in a number of close place finishes since dipping to this price level in July and the excuses simply aren’t there; with plenty of speed around him this task won’t be any easier than the rest he’s been assigned.   
The outside post won’t do any favors for Talk the Walk but he’s shown that he can battle and carry on afterwards. He loses Franco to CTL but Mello has won a race this meet for the barn and did so on a speedster like this one….he just shows up every time the bridle goes on and he’s almost never the favorite.