Northern Stars Racing Festival features five stakes with $500,000 in purses
The $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, the richest horse race of Canterbury Park’s 66-day season, attracted eight three-year-olds for the one mile turf race led by 3 to 1 morning line favorite Dunph. The Mystic Lake Derby will be the seventh race on an 11-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, and is one of five stakes races to be run that evening as part of the Northern Stars Racing Festival. Dunph will be ridden by Santiago Gonzalez and is trained by Mike Maker, who won this race in 2018 with Sniper Kitten. He owned by Three Diamonds Farm and Joseph Besecker.
Four of the eight entered in the Mystic Lake Derby are based at Canterbury Park, including the Irish-bred filly Spectralight who will make her North American debut having raced six times in Italy as a 2-year-old. Spectralight, with Eddie Martin, Jr. named to ride, is trained by Brian House and owned by James Spry. They also have entered Winning Number in the Derby.
This will be the eighth edition of the race that began in 2012 following the signing of a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement earlier that summer between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. The agreement calls for SMSC to contribute more than $70 million to horsemen purses over 10 years and has more than doubled the annual purse payments.
Stakes purses Saturday total $500,000. The $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile, also on the grass, drew a field of 14 and will be run as the sixth race. The 27th running of the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes, the evening’s fifth race, has eight entered. The $50,000 Dark Star Cup has seven including defending champion Creative Art, and the $50,000 Hoist Her Flag Stakes has nine.
Post time Thursday and Friday is 6:00 p.m. and Saturday has a special 5:15 p.m. first post.