Canterbury Park’s richest race of the season, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, will be run Saturday evening as the fourth race on a nine- race program that begins at 6:00 p.m.
Eleven 3-year-olds were entered for the one-mile turf race. Giant Payday, the 7 to 2 morning line favorite, will start from post position nine and will be ridden by Chris Landeros for trainer Ian Wilkes. Giant Payday is owned by Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata, Minn.
It has been three years since a horse bred in Minnesota has run in the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack’s premiere race but the 2017 rendition of the Mystic Lake Derby will include one as Hot Shot Kid, owned and bred by Warren Bush, has been entered. Bush, who lives in Wall Lake, Iowa, decided to breed in Minnesota following the 2012 cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, that calls for SMSC to contribute more than $70 million to horsemen purses over 10 years. Purses are now more than double what they were in 2011. Out of that agreement also came the Mystic Lake Derby, which will be run for the sixth time.
Hot Shot Kid has won five consecutive races including victories in the Victor Myers Stakes and the Minnesota Derby but has never raced on the turf. Trainer Mac Robertson and Bush opted to skip last weekend’s Minnesota Festival of Champions, where Hot Shot Kid would have been a betting favorite, for a shot at Canterbury’s biggest purse.
“We knew we have a really nice horse going forward,” Bush said. “If he can run on the grass it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.”
Hot Shot Kid, who had won three sprint races prior to his 3/4 length win in the 1 mile 70 yard Minnesota Derby, was challenged in that race in deep stretch but persevered.
“This is a horse that doesn’t want to get beat,” Bush said. The Minnesota Derby win was a factor in the decision by Bush and Robertson to try the Mystic Lake Derby. “I have tremendous faith in Mac,” Bush said. Hot Shot Kid is 9 to 2 on the morning line and drew post eleven.
Also part of the race week, which celebrates the partnership between Canterbury Park and SMSC, is Indian Horse Relay, a daring display of bareback racing showcasing teams representing 15 American Indian nations competing for more than $50,000 in prize money. Relay will be featured on Thursday and Friday with two trial heats each night conducted between the pari-mutuel races. The top eight teams from those trials advance to the championship relay Saturday evening.
An Indian Market, with more than 30 vendors offering unique Native American arts and crafts, will be open daily in the Expo Center during the races.
The Saturday race card also includes two additional stakes: the $50,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff and the $50,000 Brooks Fields Stakes.
Post time Thursday and Friday is 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mystic Lake Derby Day, has a special 6:00 p.m. first post.