May 17 News and Notes

BY JIM WELLS
Bright, breezy spring weather provided Saturday afternoon with the perfect conditions for watching horse racing at Canterbury Park, cheering on Big Brown during the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes and hoping for his continued success three weeks hence.Although there was plenty of live racing to watch, with nine races, including two $50,000 stakes, many patrons in Saturday’s crowd were eager for the Preakness to unfold. Thoroughbred racing has another opportunity for a Triple Crown winner, the first in 30 years, in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.”Big Brown. Big Brown. Big Brown. That’s what I told everybody before the Derby,” said Russ Sampson. “They didn’t want a 2-1 horse, but they wanted a winner. I really hope he wins the Triple Crown.” He’s right on track after winning the Preakness easily and with plenty left in the tank. “They can’t beat him, can they,” trainer Jerry Livingston said rhetorically before the race.It hasn’t happened yet.”The stars have to be aligned just right,” said Tom Metzen, Jr.They appear to be right in line.The undercard Saturday in Shakopee provided some hefty rewards for long-price players, starting with the first race of the afternoon. Ry Eikleberry arrived in Shakopee this week and announced his arrival by winning with his first mount of the meet in Friday night’s last race. He followed up with a victory aboard 11-1 choice Doctor Click, trained by Troy Bethke, in the card opener on Saturday.The Doctor returned $23.80, $16.20 and $8.60, but he didn’t provide the biggest payback on the card.That distinction went to Banker’s D Light, owned and trained by Phil Hartman of Glendale, Az., in partnership with Adam Seuer of New Market, Minn.Sent off at 24-1 under Anne Von Rosen, Banker’s D Light was a convincing winner in the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes, well in front of the defending champ Sir Tricky, a fourth-place finisher on Saturday. “Not bad, huh,” Von Rosen said to a bystander in the winner’s circle. “You know I don’t like this,” she said to paddock analyst Kevin Gorg, as he prepared to interview her. Von Rosen said that Hartman instructed her to keep the gelding close to the leaders but he drew off with her at the 3/8ths pole. “He (Hartman) did an awesome job getting him ready,” Von Rosen added. The winning rider couldn’t help but recall her last victory in the race, aboard the late Careless Navigator, owned by Almar Farm, in 2006. On Saturday, Banker’s D Light finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Trickyville Dew and Scott Stevens, who wasn’t willing to settle for second in the companion race, the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes. Stevens’ mount in that race was A.J. Bakes, the star 2-year-old filly last year in the Todd Hoffrogge barn. The question on Saturday was A.J. Bakes’ ability to run against older company. No problem was the answer. Stevens was confident nearing the wire, although his horse was tiring. “I heard them company, but she dug in,” he said. “The horse I was worried about was (the Mac Robertson trained) Thanks for the Tip.” Stevens knew that horse was done at the 3-8ths pole. And here’s something to consider:A.J. Bakes and Big Brown are both by Boundary. The win completed a hat trick for Stevens on the card. “The only thing better would have been winning the race before this one, too,” he said.Stevens won the 2003 Lady Slipper with Fancy Injun. “That was (trainer) Jaime Ness’s first stakes win,” he said

2 thoughts on “May 17 News and Notes”

  1. “If you would’ve tri boxed the 1,2,3 in every 6F race today it would’ve cost you $30 and the return would’ve been $870. :0 AJ Bakes is a superstar!! What an impressive horse, now that Sentimental Charm is gone, she’s clearly well on her way to being the Queen of Canterbury. First time out at the Park this year. Was a great day, but I was kind of shocked that it now costs FIVE dollars to get in the door. That’s boredline ridiculous to charge people that much money, plus the cost of a form, to come in and place bets especially when the new guys in town let you in for free. And then people wonder why ADWs are taking away from their handle. :rollseyes:”

  2. “In reply to Johns comments: A) I was stunned by the performance of A. J. Bakes. That was a pretty decent MN Bred field with some fillies and mares in sharp current form. A. J. Bakes has a real future. Hope she stays healthy. B) Charging to get in the door: 100% agree there should be no charge. I understand the tracks need to act as a business and address the bottom line. I think admission for fans is the wrong place to focus on revenue. However, in defence of the tracks nationwide, this is a tough time and there is a lot changing. The answers aren’t easy. REPLY: the admission issue I think can be explained easily especially if you look at the per cap wagers. The casual fan has no problem paying the $5 entry fee. Live racing is an event for many. Our regular customers have the MVP Rewards program which allows them to redeem points for a season pass. $15 worth of points gets thema season pass. We also have Gold and Silver MVP levels which include free admission. $50 in wagers would equal $5 to the company. Our per cap is less than that and I do not believe an extra $5 in betting money would be churned ten times on the average. jm”

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