by Kristin Bechtold
The day after the first Triple Crown win in 37 years brought enthusiastic race fans back to Canterbury Park on Sunday for more fun. The day proved to be perfect for racing, and the fans were able to soak up the sunshine as well as the lingering energy from the excitement of Saturday night.
This time, it was the quarter horses’ turn to snag the limelight. The featured race on the 10-race card was the Gopher State Derby, a 400 yard quarter horse race with a purse of $26,000. Panther Prize Me, the longest price in the 11-horse field at 27 to 1, won by a nose with jockey Justin Shepherd aboard. Breaking from post position nine, the 3-year-old North Dakota-bred filly made up ground in the final strides beating favored My Girls Toasted returning $57.80 to win.
“She was so much horse I couldn’t mess it up,” Shepherd said.
Panther Prize Me is owned by Legacy Ranch and is trained by Bob Johnson.
“I knew she’d be a distance horse,” Johnson said. “Her full sister was an 870 [yard] horse. She just keeps getting better every time I bring her up.”
Final time for the 400 yards was 20.309 seconds. Tty From Mr Pye finished third.
Racing fans should mark their calendars for Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21st for another extra-exciting day at the track, which includes two intense $75,000 thoroughbred stakes races: the Northbound Pride Oaks, an eight furlong turf race for fillies, and the Dark Star Cup, a six and a half furlong race for three year olds and up.