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10,000 Lakes Attracts Six Winners

By Jim Wells

Every so often a race comes along that elicits anticipation, chatter and an element of pride, a bit of hometown hubris even.

There might be some of that surrounding the final stakes race on Saturday’s card, the  $50,000 10,000 Lakes six-furlong sprint and its all star cast of Minnesota-bred geldings and an upstart three-year-old named Mr. Jagermeister, taking on older horses for the first time.

Mr. Jagermeister was at Oaklawn Park on April 12, running in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes against the fastest three-year-old sprinter in the country, Mitole. He wound up nine back in second place but was the only horse in the field to have tested Mitole.

Dave Miller, the Equibase chart caller at Canterbury Park, was at Oaklawn that day. “I felt some real pride that this Minnesota-bred horse was the only one even close to the winner,” he said.

Mr. Jagermeister is a 2/1 morning line pick to beat five rivals in the 10,000 Lakes dash today, all of them stakes winners, some multiple winners.

Trainer/owner Valorie Lund was reminded of that during a conversation on Friday. “That’s the way to make me less nervous,” she responded, facetiously. “Thanks a lot.”

Lund knows she has a talented horse although he still exhibits immaturity from time to time. “You have to have patience with this horse,” she said. “He’s still learning and growing up.”

He might have to grow up fast tomorrow although on paper he looks every bit the winner, despite the seasoned crew he will compete against.

“He’s taking on some very nice horses,” Lund added.

She won’t get disagreement from opposing trainers in the race.  “It looks pretty salty,” said Francisco Bravo, who’ll saddle Smooth Chiraz, last year’s Minnesota Sprint winner and Hold for More, the all-time money winner at Canterbury and the 2015 Horse of the Year.

Fun, right!

“Yeah, for all you guys watching, it is,” Bravo quipped.

Hold for more, owned by Dale Schenian, is $5,300 short of $400,000 in career earnings  and has the No. 1 hole. Smooth Chiraz, with a $214,274 bank account, is right next to him.

“Hold for More is a pretty classy horse,” Bravo added. “I wish he had an outside post instead of the rail. I think he would benefit being off the pace. On the inside, he might have to be the pace, or stay with them.”  Yet…

“It is what it is.”

Mac Robertson, the defending training champ, will saddle A P Is Loose, winner of nearly $370,000 and Hot Shot Kid, winner of four straight last summer at Canterbury, five straight overall.

“It’s a good race,” said Robertson. “Six good horses…it’s hard to find six good horses anywhere, but six in one race, all Minnesota-breds. It speaks well for the breeders.”

Robertson says both of his starters “are sound and ready to run.”

Joel Berndt will saddle the sixth starter, Fridaynitestar, second to Smooth Chiraz in the 2017 Minnesota Sprint Championship, immediately in front of Hold For More. He finished second twice to Hot Shot Kid.

Defending champion Honey’s Sox Appeal, owned by Bob Lindgren of Prior Lake, is the 7/5 morning line choice in the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes against five rivals, that include Curtis Sampson’s Double Bee Sting, second choice at 7/2.

With earnings of $251,000, Honey’s Sox has twice the bank account of the second favorite. She has a 7-4-2 record from 14 career starts.