Canterbury Park Turf Festival Offers $350,000 In Stakes Purses Wednesday

$100,000 Mystic Lake Derby richest race of the night

Canterbury Park will run the $100,000 Mystic Lake Derby for the ninth time on Wednesday as the richest race of the Canterbury Park Turf Festival which includes four additional turf stakes and four undercard dirt races. Trainer Michael Maker will attempt to win the one mile turf Derby for the third consecutive time. A top-five trainer nationally in both wins and purse earnings, Maker ships in Angelus Warrior from Kentucky.  The 3-year-old colt has won two of six career starts, all on the turf.  Angelus Warrior is the 9 to 5 morning line favorite in the seven-horse field.

Maker also saddles Ask Bailey in the $50,000 Northbound Pride Oaks and 5 to 2 morning line favorite Temple in the $75,000 Mystic Lake Mile. Florent Geroux, sixth nationally amongst jockeys in purse earnings, is named to ride all of Maker’s entries.

The Mystic Lake Derby, the fifth race on the program, begins the 50 cent Pick 5 wager with an industry low 10 percent takeout. With no stakes racing at other racetracks across the country Wednesday evening, Canterbury officials expect wagering to be robust. Through 16 days of racing, the Pick 5 pool has averaged $85,232 in handle with an average payout of $21,005. On July 1 a track record $85,340 was paid to the winning ticket holder only to be surpassed the following evening when the Pick 5 returned $98,908. The wager requires the participant to select in order the winners of five consecutive races, placing the bet before the first race in the series begins.

Beach Flower

The 28th running of the Lady Canterbury Stakes, at one mile on the turf with a purse of $75,000, could include as many as 11 starters, the largest field of the night. Geroux has also secured the mount aboard the 5 to 2 morning line favorite Winning Envelope who is owned by Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata, Minn. and trained by Chris Block. The 4-year-old filly, whose running style usually positons her at the back of the field before advancing late, has won four of 16 career races. She has been stabled at Churchill Downs this spring and summer.

Beach Flower will defend her Lady Canterbury title from the second post position. Canterbury Hall of Fame trainer Mac Robertson has named Roimes Chirinos to ride. The 7-year-old mare won this race and the Minnesota HBPA Distaff, also a one mile turf race, last summer.

Wednesday’s other stakes races are the $50,000 Northbound Pride Oaks, the $50,000 Honor the Hero Stakes and the $75,000 Mystic Lake Mile.

Racing continues Monday through Thursday at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack with a 4:40 p.m. CDT first post each day.

Through These Gates Have Passed The Greats

Florent Geroux rides Nun the Less to victory in the 2015 Mystic Lake Derby.

By Noah Joseph

Last week’s Kentucky Derby drew some of the most famous names in horse racing to Churchill Downs, and over the years, some of those names have made their presence felt at Canterbury, as well. Whether it’s been for one day, or the entire meet, many racing greats have made an appearance at the Shakopee track.

In the Kentucky Derby last week, out of the 15 different trainers, five of them have appeared at Canterbury in the past. Joe Sharp, Mark Casse, Steve Asmussen, Mike Maker, and Ian Wilkes have run at least one horse here in the last five years. Three owners have had horses run here at least once since the track first opened, and four of the jockeys in the race had ridden here. Corey Lanerie came to Canterbury and won two stakes in 2015. Julien Leparoux made several appearances when Canterbury had the Claiming Crown. Florent Geroux has appeared a few times this decade and won the 2015 Mystic Lake Derby. Mike Smith rode here from 1985 to 1988 before embarking on a hall of fame career that led to mounts on horses like Zenyatta and Arrogate.

Many other famous names have appeared at Canterbury. Trainers include D. Wayne Lukas, Bill Mott, Bobby Frankel, Neil Drysdale, Ron McAnally, Carl Nafzger and Jack Van Berg. Owners have included Calumet Farm, Allen Paulson, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Winstar Farm, and many more. A list of jockeys includes Gary Stevens, Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, Robby Albarado, Craig Perret, Pat Valenzuela, Julie Krone, Laffit Pincay Jr., and Bill Shoemaker.


Noah Joseph is a longtime Canterbury Park and horse racing fan. He’s been attending races at Canterbury since 2000 when he was 3 years old and has enjoyed every minute of it. Noah provides a weekly piece on


NUN THE LESS -  08-29-15 - R06 - CBY - 005


The pageantry, colors and festive nature of the Mystic Lake Derby, replete with more and more aspects of American Indian Culture, have made this day the piece de resistance of the summer racing season in Shakopee.

The Derby is the race of the season because of Mystic Lake’s financial involvement, and the elements of Indian culture that now accompany the program in an ever increasing number have become a natural and attractive addition to the day’s racing.

Indian relay racing, dancing, songs and demonstrations, including arrow throwing, kept Saturday’s crowd of  10,485 in awe in those many moments that surround each race. The race of the day did its part as well.

The Derby and its appealing $200,000 purse drew a field of seven for the fourth running from various locations in the country, but it was a local owner who took home the goods.

A colt named Nun the Less was more or less relegated to a secondary role and sent off at 4-1. Not even his owner, Bob Lothenbach of Eden Prairie, expected much more than a spot among the top three or four, much less a trip to the winner’s circle.

Yet, Nun the Less, sent off at 4-1 with Florent Geroux in the irons, took advantage of a perfect pace, set up in part by his stablemate , Flashy Jewel, who applied pressure at the front end of the race from the break to the top of the stretch.

Nun the Less, meanwhile, had begun his rally on the turn and came into the stretch four wide with plenty left in the tank to hit the wire a length in front of 9/2 Gallery and Carlos Marquez, Jr. Syntax, sent off the 7/5 favorite, was next under Christopher DeCarlo, two additional lengths back.

“I was surprised,” said Lothenbach. “I thought we’d finish maybe fourth. But the pace set up perfect for us.”

The fractional times of 23.22, 46.48 and 1:10.38 were precisely what Nun the Less was looking for and he finished in 1:34.82.

Nun the Less, sired by Candy Ride from Nunnery, had previous earnings of $129,092 and was bred at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.




Kalan Hammond, a 24-year-old member of the Sho-Ban tribe from Fort Hall, Idaho, won the championship round of this competition in grand fashion for the Tissidimit team, which included Toby Tissidimit as the mugger, Lance Tissidimit as the set-up man and Keinan Tissidimit as the back holder.

He became the team’s third rider after the first two were injured earlier this season.

The consolation winner was James Real Brid from the Crow Tribe of the Montana Crow Agency in Medicine Tail, Mont.




If Brian Akipa could distribute CDs of his music, there would be no need for sleeping pills or any other kind of drug to shut out the troubles of the day. Akipa, a Sisseton Sioux, has accompanied various events during the this week of American Indian celebration at Canterbury.

He was seen frequently in the winner’s circle playing his flute, emitting such dulcet tones that not the most perplexed of humanity could resist succumbing to his songs at the end of a long day.

He has mastered the flute after taking it up several years ago and now can project the peaceful nature of his culture as well as anything found in music stores throughout the nation.


Told you Pharoah, but you wouldn’t listen, would you! Did you even notice the grave markers in the infield upon arriving there. You had your chance. The track in Shakopee would have been much kinder, not to mention the competition. But nooooooo…you couldn’t leave the bright lights, could you, even though it’s been the undoing of a multitude of superstars.

You knew that the Jim Dandy Stakes was named after the horse that derailed Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox. You could still smell Onion in the air this many years after he knocked off Secretariat. And how about Upset, the horse whose name became a verb and a noun in all of sports after he handed Man o’ War his only loss in 21 races on this racetrack.

But no, Pharoah, you had to snub your nose at Canterbury Park and the enticing offer made to get you here. You had to stay with the big boys in the limelight, and look what happened. And those fractions set it up nicely for you and you still got caught in the final strides.

Don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for you after such a poor career choice.