Trainer Mac Robertson has favored runners in four thoroughbred stakes
A 10-race program, with all races restricted to Minnesota-bred racehorses, begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Canterbury Park. The card includes two quarter horse stakes and four thoroughbred stakes. Trainer Mac Robertson has horses entered in all eight thoroughbred races, with a total of 15 drawing in. The 12-time leading trainer will saddle the morning line favorite in the four thoroughbred stakes.
The richest races of the evening are the Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks for thoroughbreds, each offering a $100,000 purse and conducted at one mile and seventy yards on the main track. Also to be run Saturday are the $50,000 Princess Elaine and $50,000 Blair’s Cove, both one and one-sixteenth mile turf races. Quarter horses will compete in the $35,000 Cash Caravan Stakes at 400 yards and the $20,000 Cam Casby Futurity at 300 yards.
Mister Banjoman is the 3 to 1 favorite in the Minnesota Derby. The 3-year-old has won four of seven lifetime starts under trainer Robertson but has never raced further than three-quarters of a mile. The second and third favorites on the morning line, Astronaut Oscar at 7 to 2 trained by David Van Winkle and Dame Plata at 4 to 1 trained by Francisco Bravo, also are stretching out in distance for the first time.
Ready to Runaway, claimed by Robertson for $25,000 for owner John Mentz of Lakeville, Minn. in June, is the 5 to 2 early favorite in the Minnesota Oaks. She won the $50,000 Frances Genter Stakes on July 4 for the new connections and like Robertson’s Minnesota Derby entrant will be routing for the first time. First Hunter is favored in the Princess Elaine. Robertson trained her to a win in the July 3 Minnesota Turf Distaff. The 6-year-old mare will face six others including two-time defending champion Some Say So from the Joe Sharp barn.
Robertson has dominated in the Blair’s Cove having won the last four editions and nine of the last 11. He has two entered this year: Hot Shot Kid, 5 to 2, and A P Is Loose, 7 to 2. A P Is Loose, owned by Joel Zamzow of Duluth won the Blair’s Cove in 2015 and 2016, was second to a stablemate in 2017, and beat Hot Shot Kid by 2 1/4 lengths in 2018. Hot Shot Kid and A P Is Loose drew the outside posts in the nine-horse field.
Leading quarter horse trainer Jason Olmstead appears to have a lock on the Cash Caravan Stakes
where he has entered four of the seven runners including full brothers Dickey Bob and PYC Jess Bite My Dust. They are owned and bred by Lunderbog LLC. The 5-year-old PYC Jess Bite Mydust has earned $228,231 in purses, the most ever by a quarter horse bred in the state. Dickey Bob, a 4-year-old, beat his older brother by a head in this race in 2018 and has never lost to his sibling in several meetings. Olmstead also entered the 2018 Northlands Futurity winner Jess Doin Time who lost by a nose to Dickey Bob when they met in the 350 yard Bob Morehouse Stakes.