Lord Dragon closes for Brook Fields victory; Drena’s Star best in Honor the Hero
Weather was no friend on Thursday to Canterbury Park which had three $50,000 turf stakes scheduled. Relentless rain in Shakopee that began in the early morning hours and continued into late afternoon forced those stakes races to be transferred from the soaked grass course to a sloppy main track resulting in numerous scratches in the Brooks Fields, Minnesota HBPA Distaff and Honor the Hero Stakes.
Best Kept Secret and jockey Kelsi Harr led a four-horse field gate to wire in the one-mile Minnesota HBPA Distaff, holding off defending champion Beach Flower. The victory provided jockey Kelsi Harr with her first stakes win. Best Kept Secret is trained by Robert Cline, this was his first stakes win as well, and owned by Tracy Hersman.
“This is a great way to start the meet. We backed off on her after Oaklawn,” Cline said. “I was worried we didn’t have her tight enough. It showed in the last sixteenth [of a mile]. Harr sent Best Kept Secret to the front, setting comfortable fractions early. At the top of the stretch the 2 1/2 length lead began to diminish as Beach Flower gained ground. “She was drifting out and I could hear [Beach Flower] coming,” Harr said. Best Kept Secret had just enough left to hold on to win by a head. She paid $2.60 as the prohibitive favorite.
Lord Dragon took advantage of a quick pace set by favorite Hieronymus and Tut’s Revenge, closing in the stretch to win the one-mile Brooks Fields Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths. Rider Ruben Fuentes and Lord Dragon survived a claim of foul by the rider of Tut’s Revenge, the second-place finisher, after bumping between those two and Hieronymus in deep stretch. The stewards ruled there would be no change in the order of finish. Lord Dragon, trained by Chris Richard and owned by Jason Totaram, paid $9.60.
Drena’s Star, the 3/5 favorite, won the five-furlong Honor the Hero Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths for trainer Robertino Diodoro and owners Randy Marriot, Clayton Weist and Rick Weist. Lindey Wade guided the winner along the rail to victory, returning $3.40.