News and Notes for June 4

by Andrew Offerman

Brooks Fields Draws Tough Field

The Brooks Fields Stakes, scheduled for Satuday, June 7, drew a competitive field of 10 foes on Wednesday morning. Heza Wild Guy, Wally’s Choice, Onotheregostokyo, and Prospective Kiss all return from an open allowance race on the turf run on May 24. Prospective Kiss notched an impressive 95 Beyer Speed Figure that day, prevailing by ¾ of a length over Heza Wild Guy, Wally’s Choice ran a fast closing third and Onotheregostokyo ran a troubled fifth. Bernell Rhone trains Heza Wild Guy and Onotheregostokyo.

“They both ran a good race a couple of weeks ago and I expect them to run well again this weekend,” Rhone said. “Onotheregostokyo got in a lot of trouble in that race and I think that he’ll do well if he gets a better trip … eventually we hope to get him into the Claiming Crown Emerald [on August 2nd at Canterbury Park].”

Wally’s Choice, owned by Curtis Sampson and Wally “The Beerman” McNeil, looks to add to his career earnings as he resumes his quest to become the leading money-earner among horses bred in the state of Minnesota. After a 22-month layoff, Wally’s Choice ran a great third in his last and the trainer expects improvement.

“We’re looking to run him about once a month and this looked like a good spot,” said Trainer Mike Biehler. “He should improve a lot of that last effort and we hope to run him in some Minnesota-bred races later in the year … the Blair’s Cove and the Minnesota Classic Championship look like logical spots.”

These horses will all face an impressive list of new shooters. Switzerland is a logical challenger for trainer Keith Bennett. After running in high-level claiming races at Santa Anita this spring, Bennett has taken over training duties for Jeff Mullins and owner Adam Lewis. Paul Nolan has the call.

“I was on him the other day for his work over the turf,” said Nolan, “He really seemed to take to the surface here, I’m very excited to have a chance to ride him in this spot.”

With the forecast, many trainers seemed wary of entering due to the possibility that the race may be taken off the turf. However, of the horses that are entered, six of the ten have wins on a wet racetrack.

Other contenders include: Chief Thief (Trained by Anthony Granitz), Handsome Fee (Richard Scherer), Trail This (Robert Score), Xep for Elmer (Owen McQuade), and Voy Por Uno Mas (Moises Yanez). Chief Thief and Handsome Fee ship in from Arlington Park and Voy Por Uno Mas ships in from Churchill Downs.

Ness Ships Three-Year-Old to Prairie Meadows

Repenting, the three-year-old star in Jamie Ness’s barn, will be in Altoona, IA on Saturday for the $50K Prairie Mile Stakes. Ness claimed Repenting for owner Balkrisna Sukharan (owner of Lookinforthesecret) on February 28 out of a $25K Maiden Claiming race. Since the claim, Repenting has won and $85K stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs and, most recently, a $100K stakes race at Presque Isle Downs, in Pennsylvania. The three-year-old has now won $130,100 in his six lifetime starts.

“This horse has been fun to have, he really steps us to the competition” said Ness. “We’ve taken him all over the place and he’s done quite well everywhere he’s been. “I think that he’ll enjoy the two-turn distances more than he has the sprints, but every time you step up in class you get a little nervous … hopefully he’ll do well here and we can take on Smooth Air in the Iowa Derby on June 27.”

Arlington Park based Jockey Tim Thornton has the call. Bailey Road, trained by Justin Evans and owned by two-time defending champion owners SEJ Stables will make the journey down Interstate 35. Atta Boy Roy will also make the trip to Iowa for trainer Valerie Lund and owners Rev Racing. Canterbury Park Hall of Fame Jockey Scott Stevens will take the call. Both Bailey Road and Atta Boy Roy were allowance winners their last time out at Canterbury Park.

Nik Goodwin Intends to Ride on Thursday

Jockey Nik Goodwin was the subject of conversation on Wednesday morning in the racing office. In the finale on Sunday, June 1, Goodwin was thrown from his mount Second Wheels and struck in the leg. Quarter Horse Racing Secretary Josh Van Oort, Horsemen’s Bookkeeper Terri Hoffrogge, and Clerk of Scales Jerry Simmons all recalled the accident and were happy to report that Nik will be riding this weekend, although he is still a little sore. “It could have been a whole lot worse,” recalled Van Oort, “it could have been a whole lot worse … his horse stumbled badly, he really had no chance to stay on.” The horse and the jockey both came out of the ordeal all right and Goodwin is scheduled to ride in eight of the ten races on the Thursday night card.

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