15,168 Enjoy July 3rd

TamarenoAlex Canchari was searching for ice in the jockeys room after the second half of the co-feature Wednesday night.

“What’s up?” someone asked.

“I’m trying to cool off,” said Canchari.

“Oh, wait a minute…” he added.

Yes, indeed, wait a minute. Canchari had just won three races in a row, including the Princess Elaine and Blair’s Cove stakes, each worth $50,000.

The hottest rider on the grounds was wiping perspiration from his forehead and looking for ice to stuff in his helmet. He reconsidered.

Three years ago, Canchari was selling tacos in the Cantina at Canterbury Park, having grown up in Shakopee, the son of Luis Canchari, who rode at Canterbury in the late 1980s.

“In all of the places you’ve raced have you ever ridden three winners in a row?” paddock analyst Angela Hermann asked Alex in the winners’ circle. “No, ma’am,” he said.

“Have you ever ridden two $50,000 stakes winners in a row?” she added. “No, ma’am,” Canchari repeated.

“Welcome home,” she said.

Canchari capped off his sterling afternoon (and early evening) on Ghost Dance, a six-year-old gray gelding who won two grass races late in the meet last summer, both allowance events.

“We’ve been thinking about this race since,” said winning trainer/owner Bryan Porter. “This is the race we’ve been pointing for.”

The race included Mack’s Blackhawk, third in last year’s race; Tubby Time, the defending champion, and Coconino Slim, the runner-up last year.

Ghost Dance ran down Mack’s Tiger Paw, Tubby Time and Coco Slim to give the Minnesota Kid (those words are emblazoned on the side of his pants) his third win on the card, with a winning  time of 1:40.86 for the distance. (Correction: an earlier version of this blog referred to the final time as a track record. In fact, Aroney had previously broken the track record for the distance at the meet running 1:40.83 on June 20. Therefore, Ghost Dance’s final time of 1:40.86 was not a new track record for the distance.)

A crowd of 15,168 was on hand for the annual card that concludes with fireworks. Many of them witnessed Canchari’s winning run on It’s Tamareno (pictured above), trained by Percy Scherbenske, in the Princess Elaine Stakes.

Scherbenske was concerned before the race about the distance, a mile and 1/16 on the turf, the same as its Blair’s Cove. Both were run on the grass.

Distance was not the issue afterward for Scherbenske. It was a question of surface. “She runs best on the grass,” he said.

Canchari, the Minnesota kid, heartily agreed after she split horses at the sixteenth pole to finish a head in front of Happy Hour Honey and another neck in front of Talkin Bout, with a time of 1:42.46.

The festive July 3rd crowd wagered $316,993 and an additional $861,768 was wagered throughout the country on Canterbury’s holiday card.

SUN SHINES FOR STORMY, BF FARM BOY

Stormy Smith knew exactly what he was getting into, or make that “on,” in the $22,900 Great Lakes Stakes Wednesday afternoon.

Smith had gotten on the horse, BF Farm Boy, a few days ago and liked what was beneath him during a morning work. “I also saw the horse race at Remington Park on May 12. He got beat a neck by Cold Cash 123 and that horse is something,” Smith recalled.

BF Farm Boy, breaking from the No. 2 hole, slipped badly on the break and the No.1 horse, Wagon Empire, got a decisive jump. Then BF Farm Boy got his feet back beneath him and ran down the leader to win in a (hand-time) 21:83.

Owned by Wade Siegel and Don Boyle and trained by William S Harris, BF Farm Boy recorded the sixth win of his 30-race career.

“We gelded him last fall and that seemed to help,” said Harris. “I had just told my wife how good the footing was and then he slips. But when he gets a chance to run he’s a darn good horse. As you saw.”

A Splash of Hell, ridden by Ry Eikleberry, was third. Cody Smith brought in Painted Lies for fourth.

DERBY WINNER STOPS AT CANTERBURY

Turn back to the first Saturday in May, 2009 and a winner named Mine That Bird, who arrived at Churchill Downs under the most unceremonious of conditions, having traveled 1,700 miles from New Mexico in a trailer attached to a pickup truck.

Something will remind trainer Chip Woolley of that unforgettable day on occasion and he’ll pull up a memory or two to mull over. “I can’t watch an entire tape of that day and race without getting a little emotional,” Woolley said. “I guess it’ll always be that way.”

As it should.

There is another memory he’d just as soon put behind him.

Woolley has been running a stable at Prairie Meadows the last three summers and likes to fish in his spare time. He likes to pursue the wily carp with bow and arrow. On a recent outing he had finished for the day and was heading back. “It was getting king of dusky,” he recalled. The heavy rains this year have increased water levels in many places, including the Des Moines River. “There are a lot of logs and branches,” he said. “You don’t want to run into one.”

Woolley encountered one on the return trip up-river, but the log turned out to be the body of a 35-year-old man and he reported the finding on the spot.

Woolley paid a brief visit to Canterbury in the 1980s, but is truly impressed with the facility this time around. “They’ve got something for everyone here,” he said. “How many places to get something to eat here… 30? l really like the place. There’s not another track like this.”

Unless, of course, it’s Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May and you’re leading a horse named Mine That Bird to the paddock.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

What’s on Tap for July 3rd

Turf ChuteCanterbury’s July 3rd card may be the best of the season to date. The eleven races are comprised of three stakes and 107 entries (3 of which are on the also-eligible list) including two state-bred turf stakes, the $50k Blairs Cove and the $50k Princess Elaine.

In the Blairs Cove, a one mile and one sixteenth turf route for Minnesota-breds, Tubby Time (7/2 morning line favorite) looks to win the race for the third year in a row, but he’ll have to contend with the likes of Mack’s Blackhawk who exits the Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs and stablemate Coconino Slim who exits two sharp efforts earlier this year in Arlington Park allowance races following his win in the 2012 Minnesota Classic Championship in the 2012 Festival of Champions.

The Princess Elaine, the filly and mare counterpart to the Blairs Cove, appears relatively wide open. It’s Tamareno (6-1 morning line), who crushed state-bred N1X foes in her last out taking home the majority of the $32k purse, may be the one to beat as she has done some solid running on the Arlington Park throughout her career. In fact, her last out was only her second career race in Minnesota, having finished second in a state-bred N1X in 2012. Percy Scherbenske may have made a very sharp claim for owner Jack Guggisburg tagging this one for only $16k last September at Arlington Park.

The third race the tri-feature is the $20,000 added Great Lakes Stakes which will be run at 400-yards for quarter horses as the second race of the afternoon. Bf Farm Boy, 3rd place finisher two back to 2011 Word Champion Quarter Horse Cold Cash 123, looks to bounce back from a disappointing local debut in the Skip Zimmerman Stakes back on June 16. A Splash of Hell, runner-up in the Skip Zimmerman is the morning line favorite at 3-1.

The 2013 card features two Pick 4s (which along with our Pick 3s feature one of the lowest takeout rates in North America at only 14%). The first Pick 4 starts in Race 4 with state-bred maiden claimers going one mile, it continues as eleven $6,250 N2Ls do battle over six and one half furlongs, the third leg is comprised of second-level allowance foes doing battle at six furlongs and finishes up with an open $34k allowance over five furlongs on the turf which drew a capacity cast of 10 bolstered by one on the also-eligible list.

The second Pick 4 starts in Race 8 and is comprised of thirteen $6,250 N3Ls, the two aforementioned thoroughbred stakes on the turf and closes with a full field of $4,000 claimers going one mile and seventy yards.

Wagering on Canterbury’s July 3rd card has been historically been very strong and promises to be once again in 2013. In 2012, total wagering surpassed $1.1 million including pick four pools of  $20,640 (Early Pick 4) and $28,657 (Late Pick 4). That card featured only 84 starters in 11 races (7.64 starters per race) and was run in 105+ heat.

With 107 entries in 11 races before scratches (average field size of 9.72) and perfect weather forecast for the day (83 and sunny) it has the potential to be the best July 3 card in Canterbury Park history. So expect even bigger pools, bigger payouts and more excitement than ever before. Plus, all 11 of our races are scheduled to be broadcast live on TVG (Channel 602 DirecTV and 405 Dish Network). First Post is 4pm CDT.

Don’t forget, for all of you able to attend in person, we’ll shoot off some of the best fireworks in the entire metro area following the night’s card. In any case, be sure to spend your July 3rd playing (at) Canterbury Park!

Canterbury Fireworks 7-3-12 #3

Over 11,000 Enjoy July 3rd Stakes

While human beings melted under the oppressive conditions while merely lifting a cold drink to their lips, horses named Tubby Time, Rare Sunset and Hollywood Trickster refused to wilt under any conditions Tuesday.

Tubby Time (pictured above) won the $50,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes for the second consecutive year, and Rare Sunset used her extra gear to repeal a challenge from Gold N Glamore in the final 1/16th to win the $50,000 Minnesota H.B.P.A. Mile. The Trickster ran in even more hot, humid conditions in the card opener, but won convincingly nonetheless in the $21,150 quarter horse Great Lakes Stakes

With even more oppressive conditions forecast, track officials postponed the Fourth of July card until Saturday, when everything originally planned for the occasion will take place, including the wiener dog races, hot-dog eating contest and free hot dogs.

“The health of both our equine and human athletes as well as our race fans is always our primary concern,” said track president/CEO Randy Sampson.

Derek Bell has struggled to find the winner’s circle this meet, but found it twice on Tuesday’s card, in the opening stakes on Hollywood Trickster (pictured below) and again in the Blair’s Cove with Tubby Time.

Tubby Time’s owner Jeff Larson sized up his horse’s chances in the paddock before the race. “We’ll see if he’s fit,” he said.

He wasn’t the last time out, on June 12, but that was his first race in a year. Trainer Mac Robertson had him tightened up nicely for Tuesday’s race and Tubby moved from mid-pack to the lead in the final half furlong, winning by 1 and ¼ lengths over Coconino Slim, by three lengths over Mack’s Blackhawk.

“Just like Darth Vader said, ‘it’s all too easy,’ ” Bell said with a grin.

The difference between this race and Tubby’s last one?

“I had twice as much horse,” Bell said.

Larson got his answer at the same time.

“He’s fit,” he said.

Rare Sunset (pictured above) won gate to wire and was in charge in the stretch drive until Gold N Glamore put a move on her in the final 1/16th.

But under Geovanni Franco, Rare Sunset rebroke, refused to give ground and finished ½ length in front.

Winning owner Jill Buffie had a firm reaction afterward. “Lady Canterbury, here we come,” she said, referring to the $100,000 race on Aug. 4.

Buffie has been with Rare Sunset since her two-year-old season. First she groomed the horse, later she bought her. How’s that for a racetrack dream come true.

Winning rider Geovanni Franco was surprised afterward that no one came after him, so he had the horse necessary to repel a stretch challenge.

Scott Stevens, who rode Gold N Glamore had a different analysis. “My horse ran a great race,” he said. “She hadn’t run in more than a year.”

More than 11,000 fans were in attendance to watch July 3rd racing at Canterbury. On track patrons bet $276,359 while off track customers wagered $832,176.

Blog Clarification

A recent article in which Scott Stevens was quoted did not include enough surrounding context to reflect his true intent.

He was quoted as saying that his mother didn’t care for his brother Gary’s character in the HBO series Luck and wouldn’t watch. “Hey, he was just playing himself,” Scott added.

The character, however, was prone to certain outrageous, drug-related behaviors that are not part of Gary’s personality in any way whatsoever.

Scott only meant to imply that Gary and the TV character were both competitive people with quick-tempered reactions at times.

The article did not include additional information that would have made that clear.

July 3 Festivities

Here’s a video recap of the July 3 Festivities:

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Video Credit: Jon Mikkelson & The Canterbury Park Television Department

Over 11,000 Enjoy July 3rd Stakes

While human beings melted under the oppressive conditions while merely lifting a cold drink to their lips, horses named Tubby Time, Rare Sunset and Hollywood Trickster refused to wilt under any conditions Tuesday.

Tubby Time (pictured above) won the $50,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes for the second consecutive year, and Rare Sunset used her extra gear to repeal a challenge from Gold N Glamore in the final 1/16th to win the $50,000 Minnesota H.B.P.A. Mile. The Trickster ran in even more hot, humid conditions in the card opener, but won convincingly nonetheless in the $21,150 quarter horse Great Lakes Stakes

With even more oppressive conditions forecast, track officials postponed the Fourth of July card until Saturday, when everything originally planned for the occasion will take place, including the wiener dog races, hot-dog eating contest and free hot dogs.

“The health of both our equine and human athletes as well as our race fans is always our primary concern,” said track president/CEO Randy Sampson.

Derek Bell has struggled to find the winner’s circle this meet, but found it twice on Tuesday’s card, in the opening stakes on Hollywood Trickster (pictured below) and again in the Blair’s Cove with Tubby Time.

Tubby Time’s owner Jeff Larson sized up his horse’s chances in the paddock before the race. “We’ll see if he’s fit,” he said.

He wasn’t the last time out, on June 12, but that was his first race in a year. Trainer Mac Robertson had him tightened up nicely for Tuesday’s race and Tubby moved from mid-pack to the lead in the final half furlong, winning by 1 and ¼ lengths over Coconino Slim, by three lengths over Mack’s Blackhawk.

“Just like Darth Vader said, ‘it’s all too easy,’ ” Bell said with a grin.

The difference between this race and Tubby’s last one?

“I had twice as much horse,” Bell said.

Larson got his answer at the same time.

“He’s fit,” he said.

Rare Sunset (pictured above) won gate to wire and was in charge in the stretch drive until Gold N Glamore put a move on her in the final 1/16th.

But under Geovanni Franco, Rare Sunset rebroke, refused to give ground and finished ½ length in front.

Winning owner Jill Buffie had a firm reaction afterward. “Lady Canterbury, here we come,” she said, referring to the $100,000 race on Aug. 4.

Buffie has been with Rare Sunset since her two-year-old season. First she groomed the horse, later she bought her. How’s that for a racetrack dream come true.

Winning rider Geovanni Franco was surprised afterward that no one came after him, so he had the horse necessary to repel a stretch challenge.

Scott Stevens, who rode Gold N Glamore had a different analysis. “My horse ran a great race,” he said. “She hadn’t run in more than a year.”

More than 11,000 fans were in attendance to watch July 3rd racing at Canterbury. On track patrons bet $276,359 while off track customers wagered $832,176.

Blog Clarification

A recent article in which Scott Stevens was quoted did not include enough surrounding context to reflect his true intent.

He was quoted as saying that his mother didn’t care for his brother Gary’s character in the HBO series Luck and wouldn’t watch. “Hey, he was just playing himself,” Scott added.

The character, however, was prone to certain outrageous, drug-related behaviors that are not part of Gary’s personality in any way whatsoever.

Scott only meant to imply that Gary and the TV character were both competitive people with quick-tempered reactions at times.

The article did not include additional information that would have made that clear.

July 3 Festivities

Here’s a video recap of the July 3 Festivities:

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Video Credit: Jon Mikkelson & The Canterbury Park Television Department

July 3rd Racing Preview

The five-day Independence Day racing week kicks off on Tuesday, July 3rd with a special 4PM Post Time. The day features some great racing including one quarter horse race (the Great Lakes Stakes) followed by 10 thoroughbred races (including the Blair’s Cove Stakes and the HBPA Mile Stakes).

Two Pick 4s carrying a $.50 minimum wager – one on races 2-5 and another on races 7 through 10 – are sure to grab the attention of punters across North America. The late pick 4 on races 7-10 is comprised four turf races. Both stakes races are included in the All-Turf Pick 4 as well as a $30,000 Allowance Turf Sprint and a field of 11 claimers going 7 and 1/2 furlongs over the lawn.

Pick 4s at Canterbury Park always feature the lowest takeout in North America at just 14%. Our Pick 3s also feature 14% takeout every racing day.

For those of you that may not be overly familiar with racing at Canterbury Park, Track Announcer Paul Allen gives you a short overview:

If you are specifically looking for analysis of our All-Turf Pick 4, Track Analyst Angela Hermann has you covered. Here, she provides some insight – as well as a ticket – that will help you navigate this wagering endeavor:

Other July 3rd Canterbury Park Racing Notes

  • All of Canterbury’s races are slated to be shown live on TVG.
  • Derby Wars is running a free contest that features Canterbury Park’s races.
  • The Daily Racing Form will be featuring Canterbury Park’s races on their website throughout the day.

Finally, for a more complete look at Canterbury Park’s statistics and trends, we turn to Canterbury Park’s resident statistician, The Oracle. A longtime Minnesota racing fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years – The Oracle regularly writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races for Canterbury Live.

The Track Bias

When temperatures soar into the nineties, the main track tends to favor early speed more strongly than normal. Horses that clear off on the early lead are extremely difficult to run down. Last week was no exception as 11 of 17 sprint races were won in wire to wire fashion, and 5 of 7 route winners secured the early lead by the first call. The same principle doesn’t hold on the turf, as all five winners last week rallied from off the pace. No huge prices in those front running winners, although one speedball did pay $11.00 for the win.

Expect more of the upcoming days of racing. Temperatures in the mid-nineties are forecast over the next several days.

Favorites

Favorites are continuing to perform very strongly this year, currently winning at a 48% rate for all thoroughbred races. In fact, a $2 win wager on all thoroughbred favorites to date would have cost $394 and returned $433, a profit of nearly $40 so far. It would certainly be a unique situation if the favorite could generate a flat bet profit over the course of the entire meet.

Here is a further breakdown of how favorites are doing in certain categories and sub-categories. This information can be valuable when constructing horizontal wagers. It can help isolate potential singles as well as target races with vulnerable favorites. Remember, the larger the sample size the more reliable the data will carry forward in a meaningful way.

 Category  Favorite Win %  Sample Size
All Races 48% 94/197
All Sprints 52% 65/126
Sprints – Alw/Stk 32% 9/28
Sprints – Clm 54% 29/54
Sprints – Msw 60% 12/20
Sprints – Mcl 63% 15/24
2-5 Furlongs 58% 7/12
5.5 Furlongs 53% 21/40
6 Furlongs 47% 31/66
6.5 Furlongs 75% 6/8
All Routes 45% 19/42
Routes – Alw/Stk 60% 3/5
Routes – Clm 43% 12/28
Routes – Msw 50% 2/4
Routes – Mcl 40% 2/5
1 Mile & 1 Mile 70 42% 15/36
1 Mile & 1/16 67% 4/6
All Turf 34% 10/29
Turf – Alw/Stk 36% 4/11
Turf – Clm 27% 4/15
Turf – Msw 50% 1/2
Turf – Mcl 100% 1/1
5 Furlongs 100% 1/1
7.5 Furlongs 27% 3/11
1 Mile 45% 5/11
1 Mile & 1/16 17% 1/6


July 3rd Racing Preview

The five-day Independence Day racing week kicks off on Tuesday, July 3rd with a special 4PM Post Time. The day features some great racing including one quarter horse race (the Great Lakes Stakes) followed by 10 thoroughbred races (including the Blair’s Cove Stakes and the HBPA Mile Stakes).

Two Pick 4s carrying a $.50 minimum wager – one on races 2-5 and another on races 7 through 10 – are sure to grab the attention of punters across North America. The late pick 4 on races 7-10 is comprised four turf races. Both stakes races are included in the All-Turf Pick 4 as well as a $30,000 Allowance Turf Sprint and a field of 11 claimers going 7 and 1/2 furlongs over the lawn.

Pick 4s at Canterbury Park always feature the lowest takeout in North America at just 14%. Our Pick 3s also feature 14% takeout every racing day.

For those of you that may not be overly familiar with racing at Canterbury Park, Track Announcer Paul Allen gives you a short overview:

If you are specifically looking for analysis of our All-Turf Pick 4, Track Analyst Angela Hermann has you covered. Here, she provides some insight – as well as a ticket – that will help you navigate this wagering endeavor:

Other July 3rd Canterbury Park Racing Notes

  • All of Canterbury’s races are slated to be shown live on TVG.
  • Derby Wars is running a free contest that features Canterbury Park’s races.
  • The Daily Racing Form will be featuring Canterbury Park’s races on their website throughout the day.

Finally, for a more complete look at Canterbury Park’s statistics and trends, we turn to Canterbury Park’s resident statistician, The Oracle. A longtime Minnesota racing fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years – The Oracle regularly writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races for Canterbury Live.

The Track Bias

When temperatures soar into the nineties, the main track tends to favor early speed more strongly than normal. Horses that clear off on the early lead are extremely difficult to run down. Last week was no exception as 11 of 17 sprint races were won in wire to wire fashion, and 5 of 7 route winners secured the early lead by the first call. The same principle doesn’t hold on the turf, as all five winners last week rallied from off the pace. No huge prices in those front running winners, although one speedball did pay $11.00 for the win.

Expect more of the upcoming days of racing. Temperatures in the mid-nineties are forecast over the next several days.

Favorites

Favorites are continuing to perform very strongly this year, currently winning at a 48% rate for all thoroughbred races. In fact, a $2 win wager on all thoroughbred favorites to date would have cost $394 and returned $433, a profit of nearly $40 so far. It would certainly be a unique situation if the favorite could generate a flat bet profit over the course of the entire meet.

Here is a further breakdown of how favorites are doing in certain categories and sub-categories. This information can be valuable when constructing horizontal wagers. It can help isolate potential singles as well as target races with vulnerable favorites. Remember, the larger the sample size the more reliable the data will carry forward in a meaningful way.

 Category  Favorite Win %  Sample Size
All Races 48% 94/197
All Sprints 52% 65/126
Sprints – Alw/Stk 32% 9/28
Sprints – Clm 54% 29/54
Sprints – Msw 60% 12/20
Sprints – Mcl 63% 15/24
2-5 Furlongs 58% 7/12
5.5 Furlongs 53% 21/40
6 Furlongs 47% 31/66
6.5 Furlongs 75% 6/8
All Routes 45% 19/42
Routes – Alw/Stk 60% 3/5
Routes – Clm 43% 12/28
Routes – Msw 50% 2/4
Routes – Mcl 40% 2/5
1 Mile & 1 Mile 70 42% 15/36
1 Mile & 1/16 67% 4/6
All Turf 34% 10/29
Turf – Alw/Stk 36% 4/11
Turf – Clm 27% 4/15
Turf – Msw 50% 1/2
Turf – Mcl 100% 1/1
5 Furlongs 100% 1/1
7.5 Furlongs 27% 3/11
1 Mile 45% 5/11
1 Mile & 1/16 17% 1/6


Great Lakes Stakes Preview

It is the height of stakes season here at Canterbury Park, where we are in the midst of four stakes races for quarter horses in less than two weeks. The highlight of last weekend was the Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Quarter Horse Futurity, on Sunday, June 24th. A field of ten qualifiers ran 350 yards for a Stakes-record purse of $46,000.

Not surprisingly, fastest qualifier Hada Certain Charm finished first, but not in the dominating performance many expected as the finish came down to a photo with his stablemate, Fly Eyeann. It was a tense moment for the crowd, who had bet the winner to near even money, but not for Ed Ross Hardy, who trained both horses. Hada Certain Charm broke out slightly and made a surging run at the end to win the race by a nose over Fly Eyeann, who won her trial for the race two weeks earlier but was only the seventh fastest qualifier. Despite a narrow victory, the Hadtobenuts gelding broke the Stakes record with his time of 17.934. The previous record of 18.007, set by Oak Tree Boulevard in 2009, was actually broken by the top three finishers of this year’s race, with Fly Eyeann at 17.949 and third place finisher Hastabealeader at 18.006.

Hada Certain Charm, by Hadtobenuts out of the Dash for Perks Mare Lk Classy Perk, was bred in Kansas by Leo Butell. Owned by Leo Butell and Mike Schau, trained by Ed Ross Hardy, and ridden by Nik Goodwin, the two-year-old gelding made his third lifetime start and his second start here at Canterbury after shipping in from Remington Park.

Fly Eyeann, ridden by Tom Wellington and also trained by Hardy, made her debut in the futurity trial and broke her maiden with a length-and-a-half victory. Owned and bred by Rodney Von Ohlen in Minnesota, the two-year-old filly by Mr Jess Perry sire Fly Jess Fly and out of the Mr Eye Opener mare Eyzanee has shown potential in the near-upset and will be a threat in her next start.

Tuesday, July 3: Great Lakes Stakes, $19,000, 440 yards

Leading Trainer: Ed Ross Hardy (4)

Leading Jockey: Ry Eikleberry (2) and Scot Schindler (2)

Record Purse: $30,300, won by Silver Fastback, 2008

Tuesday night’s card features the Great Lakes Stakes for three-year-olds and up running the classic quarter horse distance of 440 yards. This will be the 16th running of a race that gained prominence on a national level last year when the event was won by Jess A Runner. Jess A Runner broke the track record by nearly a second, covering the 440 yards in 21.126. The Kansas-bred gelding owned by J&K Running Horses, LLC, trained by Kenny Laymon, and ridden to victory by Doug Frink, went on to win the Grade 3 Two Rivers Stakes at Prairie Meadows last fall. Jess a Runner, now 6, has 9 wins in his 27 lifetime starts, 4 places, and 4 thirds, and has earned over $270,000.

The elite field for this year’s running of the Great Lakes Stakes may reveal another future star. If you watched the Skip Zimmerman Stakes on Memorial Day, you witnessed the incredible stretch run by Hollywood Trickster to come from seventh place to gain the upset victory by a half-length. At 7-5 on the morning line, #5 Hollywood Trickster is the early favorite for Tuesday’s race. Though 440 yards is the traditional quarter horse distance, many horses do not run that far in overnight races. Hollywood Trickster, on the other hand, spent his 2011 campaign running at 870 and 550 yards, and his late rush at the end of the Skip Zimmerman convinced many that a longer race will suit him perfectly. Hollywood Trickster is by the thoroughbred sire Favorite Trick, a popular distance sire for quarter horses.

In the Skip Zimmerman Memorial, Paintyourownwagon hopped at the start and finished a disappointing fifth. The four-year-old Pyc Paint Your Wagon colt won his next out against tough allowance company, but seeks to redeem himself against Hollywood Trickster. #1 Paintyourownwagon (2-1) made his Canterbury debut last summer in the Canterbury Derby, where he finished third behind I Am That Hero. He ran in the Prairie Meadows Adequan Derby Challenge behind T Gold J, who went on to win the national Adequan Derby final at the Challenge Championships at Los Alamitos in 2011. His lifetime earnings are just shy of $100,000 in his 17 lifetime starts. The Skip Zimmerman Stakes was his first race after a six-month layoff, and now he appears to be back in form and will be tough to beat. However, the distance is a concern, as he has started at 440 yards twice before but has not finished better than sixth.

The rest of the field will be had at a price, so start planning your exactas with these entries:

#2 Brooks Dream Girl (10-1) is still a maiden after seven lifetime starts. The three-year-old Brookstone Bay filly has found herself running against older horses in her last three starts. She finished a strong second last out and gained ground in a 350-yard race. She is bred to run longer; her sire also sired the winner of the 2009 Grade 1 All American Futurity, Runnning Brook Gal.

#3 Play the Pipes (5-1) is a four-year-old filly by classic sire Mr Jess Perry. Though she only has two wins in her 11 starts, her last five races have all been allowance races at Prairie Meadows, Remington, and Canterbury, including a win in the slop here two weeks ago. She will also attempt 440 for the first time, but her running style suggests she may be able to stretch out.

#4 A Faster Streaker (7-2) is a ten-year-old gelding with 13 wins out of 43 lifetime starts, and earnings of over $160,000. He will be making his first start at Canterbury; his last 12 races have been at eight different tracks. He will love this distance, having run first or second eight times in his 14 attempts at 440 yards.

Stakes action continues at a national level as well. Sunday, June 24th also offered the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos for – you guessed it – a purse exceeding $1 million. One Dashing Eagle covered 350 yards in a sharp 17:135, posting the best time at the distance for the entire meet to date. The victory planted the two-year-old son of first-year stallion One Famous Eagle in the number two position on the national top ten poll for two-year-olds, just a single point below top ranked PJ Chick in Black, winner of the Ruidoso Futurity.

PJ Chick in Black will not likely be among the nominated two-year-olds competing in trials for the second leg of the Ruidoso triple crown, but there will be plenty of horses competing for a spot in her place in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity. 23 trials will be held at Ruidoso on Tuesday to select the ten fastest qualifiers to the final on July 22nd. Trials for the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby will be held on Thursday, July 5th, though the race will likely draw only a half-dozen trials.

Enjoy your extended week of racing here at Canterbury. Live racing takes place Tuesday through Saturday, with more stakes races to come for both breeds.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

This blog was written by AQHA Q-Racing Ace Jen Perkins. Jen travels to tracks across the country to educate fans about handicapping and Quarter Horse racing, and shares her perspective on Canterbury Quarter Horse racing as well as insider information on America’s fastest athletes.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography