Distance Challenge, Distaff Challenge and MQHRA Stallion Futurity provide solid quarter horse undercard
Danjer, a five-year-old multiple grade one winning quarter horse trained by Dean Frey, is the 3/5 favorite to repeat in the $52,360 Canterbury Park Championship Challenge, a 440 yard, Grade 3 race Tuesday at Canterbury Park. Danjer won this race last year as the favorite which awarded a berth in the Bank of America Championship Challenge at Albuquerque later that year. He won that race and was named the AQHA champion aged horse and champion aged gelding. Danjer also won the Grade 1 Downs at Albuquerque Fall Championship prior to the Bank of America Championship Challenge victory.
Cody Smith will ride Danjer as he did during the 2020 campaign and in his two 2021 starts, including his most recent victory in the Grade 1 Debbie Schauf Invitational Championship on May 29 at Remington Park where he was named 2021 horse of the meet. Danjer was bred by Frey who is co-owner along with Billy Smith and Downtime Enterprises LLC. Frey also bred and raced his dam Shez Jess Toxic who won five times and $235,296. Danjer is her first foal.
With 11 wins from 21 starts, including his maiden win at Canterbury on July 1, 2018, and $1,064,448 in purses, Danjer has earned more than double the combined earnings of the other four entrants in Tuesday’s Championship Challenge.
Frey, who is reluctant to be interviewed prior to races, “I’m superstitious,” he said, has entered Kowboy Jim in the same race. The 7-year-old has won six of nine at Canterbury and has a win at the 440 yard distance. He will be ridden by Canterbury’s all-time leader in quarter horse wins and earnings, Nik Goodwin.
The Canterbury Park Championship Challenge is the final race on a 10-race program that begins at 5:10 p.m. central. Thoroughbreds run in the first six races followed by the $25,432 Canterbury Park Distance Challenge, the $71,362 MQHRA Stallion Auction Futurity and the $38,615 Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge.
Lynnder 16, trained by Jason Olmstead, is favored in the Distaff Challenge, a race which she won last year. The 5-year-old mare, who has won 12 of 25 starts, made her seasonal debut at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack June 9 where she won by a head racing 300 yards. Lynnder 16 won the Distaff Challenge Championship at Albuquerque Downs in 2020.