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$150,000 Mystic Lake Derby Headlines June 23 Northern Stars Racing Festival at Canterbury Park

Nation’s top jockeys and trainers seek share of $610,000 in stakes purses

Canterbury Park’s Northern Stars Racing Festival on June 23 has attracted several of the top trainers in the country as well as the Shakopee racetrack’s best local trainers in pursuit of $610,000 in purses spread across six stakes. The tenth running of the $150,000 Mystic Lake Derby drew a field of 11 when entries were taken today. Represented in the one mile turf stake is trainer Brad Cox with 3-year-old T D Dance. Cox is the second leading trainer nationally in purses earned in 2021 with $13.6 million, recently winning the Belmont Stakes with Essential Quality and training Kentucky Derby second-place finisher Mandaloun. Michael Maker, sixth in the nation in purses with $5.9 million, entered both Grade 3 winner Chess’s Dream and Shady McGee. Maker won the Mystic Lake Derby in 2018 and 2019.

Bodenheimer has two turf wins, a maiden race at Canterbury in July of last year and the Indian


Summer at Keeneland in October. Trained by Valorie Lund and ridden by Ruben Fuentes, Bodenheimer, who drew post 11, will try a route of ground for the first time in the Derby.

Ian Wilkes attempts to win the Mystic Lake Derby for the second time having trained Giant Payday to a win in 2017 for owner Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata, Minn. Chris Landeros rode then and will have the mount June 23 on Modern Science for Wilkes and Lothenbach.

Two of the sport’s top jockeys will also compete. Florent Geroux, fifth in the nation in purses earned with $8.7 million, will ride three entries for Cox. Ricardo Santana, Jr., currently seventh in earnings, will ride four for Michael Maker who has a lengthy history at Canterbury dating back to the 2008 Claiming Crown. Maker has won with 16 of 50 starters at Canterbury and earned $1.08 million in purses.

The $100,000 Curtis Sampson Oaks and the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes each has a field of nine and are run at one mile on the turf. The $100,000 Dark Star Turf Sprint at five furlongs has eight. The $60,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes, at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track, also has eight entrants.

Giant Payday, still owned by Lothenbach but now trained by Joel Berndt, will face the 2020 Mystic Lake Derby winner Summer Assault, trained by Michele Boyce, in the $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile along with defending champion Tut’s Revenge who is ridden by Roimes Chirinos and trained by Clint Stuart.

Robertino Diodoro

Robertino Diodoro, three times the leading trainer at Canterbury and currently fifth in the nation in total wins with 116, has entries in the Mile and the Sprint. Diodoro is leading the current Canterbury meet with a record of 14 wins from 40 starts.

A night of stakes cannot go by without the involvement of Mac

Mac Robertson

Robertson, 13-time training champion at Canterbury and leader in all-time purse earnings and wins. Robertson has entries in the Lady Canterbury, the Sprint and the Oaks.

The 10-race June 23 program begins at 5:10 p.m. CT. Canterbury offers an industry low 10 percent takeout on its non-jackpot $1 Pick Six and 50 cent Pick Five wagers with each concluding on the final race of the program.