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All That Glitters

By Noah Joseph

Throughout the history of horse racing, there have always been some horses that just make everything look easy — from their running styles, to their ability to adapt to different surfaces and distances, to their overall gift to win. At Canterbury, few horses personified that ability more than Glitter Star.

Glitter Star was bred in Minnesota by her owner Bonnie Baskin. Ms. Baskin currently owns and breeds her horses under the name Blue Heaven Farm and has horses racing across the country. Glitter Star was sired by Glitterman, a graded stakes winner and grade 1 placed sprinter. Her dam was Saratoga Success, a stakes placed runner in California, who Ms. Baskin acquired while carrying Glitter Star in 2001. Glitter Star was trained by the late Richard Scherer.

Glitter Star made her career debut as a two-year-old at Canterbury in 2004, finishing 3rd. With a race under her belt, Glitter Star was rested in preparation for her three-year-old season and didn’t race until March at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans before returning to Canterbury in May. She broke her maiden on May 29th, 2005, winning by 6 1/2 lengths as the heavy favorite. With such a powerful victory, Glitter Star’s connections decided to test the waters and enter her in the Frances Genter Stakes, a prep race for the Minnesota Oaks. Glitter Star came from far back to close into a 3rd place finish behind the winner Oh You Again. However in the Minnesota Oaks, Glitter Star turned the tables on Oh You Again in defeating her by a length and a half. This would be the first stakes win for Glitter Star, and she would add one more stakes tally that year in winning the Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship on Festival of Champions Day. This victory propelled Glitter Star to being named the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly at Canterbury that season. However, this was just an indication of even greater things to come.

As a four-year-old, Glitter Star started to show signs of just how good she could potentially be. Prior to returning to Shakopee, she competed at Tampa Bay Downs and Keeneland. Once she got back to Minnesota, Glitter Star finished second in an allowance race and the Minnesota H. B. P. A. Mile. Her connections then pointed her towards the Princess Elaine Stakes on the 4th of July, but Glitter Star almost didn’t  run the race. Canterbury Park’s 3rd of July fireworks show kept Glitter Star up all night before the race. Despite the restless night before, Glitter Star was still made the favorite in the one mile turf contest, which she won by a head over the fast closing long-shot Ma Home Cat. It was the first and only turf stakes win for Glitter Star. After a tough seventh place finish in the Lady Canterbury against open company, Glitter Star returned against Minnesota bred fillies and mares and looked to repeat in the Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship, which she won as the favorite despite stumbling at the start. Glitter Star then finished third in the Shakopee Stakes on the final day of the meet, yet she was voted Champion Older Filly or Mare at Canterbury that season.

Glitter Star returned to Canterbury as a five-year-old in late July after competing in Kentucky, Louisiana, and West Virginia. Her first race in her return to Shakopee was a game second place finish in allowance company, but that was just a prep for her, as the main objective for Glitter Star and her connections was to win the Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship for a third year in a row. The day of the Distaff, heavy rains pelted the track, turning the main dirt track into a swamp. But like the champion she was, the weather and track surface didn’t bother her a bit, as she won the Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship for the third time. She is the only horse in track history to achieve such an accomplishment. Her final start at Canterbury was a win in the Shakopee Stakes, and she closed out her career with two stakes placings at Hawthorne Race Course just outside Chicago. Following the 2007 season, Glitter Star was retired.

When it was all said and done, Glitter Star won eight races from twenty-nine starts, finished in the money seventeen times, and earned over $246,000. Glitter Star was inducted into the Canterbury Hall of Fame. The Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship was re-named the Glitter Star Stakes in her honor. In a career that may never be replicated, Glitter Star proved that sometimes all that glitters is gold.