Honey’s Sox Appeal – 2021 Canterbury Park Hall of Fame

The first time her owner Bob Lindgren met her, Honey’s Sox Appeal showed how elusive she could be. “She was running all over the place,” Lindgren said. “She wouldn’t let me catch her.”

Fitting, as the Minnesota-bred mare spent her race career not letting other horses catch her at the finish line. She won 11 of 30 starts at Canterbury, hitting the board 23 times. Her local purse earnings of $427,650 make her the richest race mare in the history of the track.

Honey’s Sox Appeal showed her talent early and often, and it was no secret from the start. She won as the favorite in her career debut as a 2-year-old in 2015. In her final race that season, she finished second in the Northern Lights Debutante.

The precocious filly followed up with second-place finishes in the 2016 Frances Genter Stakes and Minnesota Oaks, then defeated older rivals in the Distaff Sprint Championship. In 2017, she won the Lady Slipper and repeated as Distaff Sprint champion. “Two black-type stakes in one year,” Lindgren said proudly, of a feat quite rare for a state-bred. Honey’s Sox Appeal was named Champion Sprinter of the Meet both years.

Her lone win in 2018 came on Festival of Champions Day, when she won the Distaff Sprint for a third consecutive time. She tackled a longer distance and won the 2019 Princess Elaine at a mile and a sixteenth. During her six years of racing, Honey’s Sox Appeal won at least once each season while displaying remarkable versatility: she triumphed short and long, on turf and dirt, in the slop, among state-breds and open company, carrying eight different jockeys to the winner’s circle.

Honey’s Sox Appeal was retired last year at the age of seven. “She was sound. I could have brought her back to race another year,” Lindgren said. It was a difficult decision for a man who obviously loves his horses, who loves to watch them race and takes satisfaction in watching them win.

But he also enjoys finding the perfect stallion for his broodmares. Honey’s Sox Appeal is now in foal to Malibu Moon and lives at the Kentucky farm of her co-breeder, Paul Knapper.

“Bob’s persistent. I probably would have bred her three years ago,” said Knapper, a longtime friend of Lindgren. “She’s as sweet as can be.”

Lindgren is well aware that the career of Honey’s Sox Appeal, and her induction this week into the Canterbury Hall of Fame, are something to be cherished. And he’s anxious to see what this next phase of the champion mare’s career will bring.

The Old Mare Is Still What She Used To Be

The 7-year-old Minnesota bred mare Honey’s Sox Appeal was back on her game last week when she defeated an open company turf allowance field on Wednesday evening, winning by a head under the hot jockey Leslie Mawing. Honey’s Sox Appeal has won at least once per season since her initial start in 2015 for a total of 11 victories including five stakes. Twenty-seven of her 28 career starts have come in Shakopee, grossing $434,400 in purse earnings for her owner and co-breeder Robert Lindgren. That sum is the third largest in the history of Canterbury and the most by any filly or mare. That’s Canterbury Hall of Fame material.

Owners are optimistic by nature. That is needed in a sport where wins don’t come easy. This versatile mare has rarely let Lindgren down no matter what he has asked of her: dirt, turf, slop, long or short. “I expected that effort from her,” he said of the Wednesday triumph.

At some point Honey’s Sox Appeal will retire from racing and become a broodmare. Lindgren indicated he was contacted by several commercial stallion farms before the breeding season commenced last year. “I expect to breed her this season coming up,” he said, but not until he takes a look at the potential Minnesota bred competition for next year. “I will analyze the fillies and mares at Canterbury at the end of the season,” and from there will determine whether 2021 will be a racing season for Honey’s Sox Appeal or retirement.

The next likely start for her would be the Glitter Star Stakes August 19, a main track route race restricted to Minnesota bred fillies and mares and a showdown with the talented Ready to Runaway. Do not miss out on this! Run, don’t walk! Get your tickets now!

Odds and Ends from the Weekend plus more to come….

Hold for More was victorious in this weekend’s running of the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stake.

He rated for the early parts of the race behind the three pacesetters, Cupid’s Delight, Bourbon County and Smooth Chiraz, before swinging four wide at the top of the stretch to overtake them all and win by a convincing 2 ½ lengths under jockey Orlando Mojica. The money earned by Hold for More catapulted him into second position behind reigning leader Crocrock for the title of All-Time Leading Money Earner at Canterbury Park. Hold for More is currently $16,502 behind Crocrock. Though Mojica is currently ranked third in the jockey standings by wins, he is second by money earned with $163,672, behind leading rider Alex Canchari’s $218,965. Hold for More paid $11.80 to win.

The $50,000 Lady Slipper was won by wagering favorite Honey’s Sox Appeal. The 4-year-old filly is trained by Mac Robertson and ridden by leading rider Alex Canchari. Mac Robertson has now won the race four times. Thunder and Honey, the older half-sister to Honey’s Sox Appeal, was third in the Lady Slipper. They are both out of the broodmare A J’s Honey.

There were three impressive Minnesota-bred three-year-old winners over the weekend, and all will likely be pointed toward the Minnesota Derby. Hot Shot Kid, owned by Warren Bush, trained by Mac Robertson and ridden by Alex Canchari, won the second race on Friday night by ¾ of a length as the heavy wagering favorite. This allowance victory comes just after a Maiden Special Weight win at Oaklawn Park. Mines Made Up won the 6th race, a Maiden Special Weight, on Friday night by an easy 6 ½ lengths, much the best in the 10-horse field. The 3-year-old bay gelding is owned by Lothenbach Stable, trained by Joel Berndt and ridden by Denny Velazquez. Grand Marais, also ridden by Denny Velazquez, easily won the last race of the card on Saturday, also a Maiden Special Weight, by a widening 6 ¾ lengths. The 3-year-old chestnut colt is owned and trained by Gary Scherer. The Derby, which will be run on July 29, is already looking like it could shape up to be a very exciting and competitive race.

Jockey Nik Goodwin is another win closer to the 1,000 win milestone, after winning the 5th race on Paschal for trainer Dan McFarlane on Saturday afternoon. He now has 997 wins and rides in the 2nd, 4th and 6th races on this Friday night’s card.

There will be four days of live racing for the first time this meet over Memorial Day Weekend. Post time for the first race on Friday will be 6:30 PM, Saturday at 12:45 PM, Sunday at 12:45 PM and Monday (Memorial Day) at 12:45 PM. Monday will not only feature live horse racing at Canterbury Park, but also the Annual Running of the Bulldogs. There will be 48 bulldogs running in five races that will take place in between the live horse races.

Quarter Horse racing at Canterbury Park begins on Saturday, May 27 with the 400-yard Gopher State Derby Trials for three-year-olds.

 

by Katie Merritt

Katie Merritt is a senior at the University of Kentucky and currently an intern in the Canterbury Park Press Box. Before returning to school she galloped at several tracks around the country, but spent the majority of her time working for Carl Nafzger and Ian Wilkes.

HONEY’S SOX APPEAL, HOLD FOR MORE WET WINNERS

By JIM WELLS

Puddles appeared in the infield, in various places throughout the grounds and around just about any crevice, indentation or hole of any kind. Pathways normally associated with solid footing were flooded in low spots and impassable without an individual’s acquiescence to soggy footwear.

The lines typically seen at concession stands on Preakness Stakes day were smaller. Still, there were individuals among the press-box crowd who wondered if a queue might begin forming outside an imaginary ark they expected to arrive and begin taking passengers at any moment. It rained steadily for much of the afternoon.

Trainers shook their heads in exasperation. “It’s been raining for four days,” said the track’s defending conditioning champion Mac Robertson. “I feel bad for the Sampsons. And the track’s not real good right now.”

But it was good at the right time for Robertson, whose horses ran first and third in the second stakes race on the card, the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes.

“I ran first, second and third,” he said. “I just don’t have the second place horse any more.” That would be Rockin The Bleu’s, now conditioned by Mike Biehler.

Just the same, Honey’s Sox Appeal, under Alex Canchari ran first, by 2 ¼ lengths and Thunder and Honey was there for show money, 2 ½ lengths behind Rockin the Bleu’s. The winning time was 1:11.91.

“First and third. Sisters,” said owner Bob Lindgren, referring to the dam they share, A J’s Honey.

Alex Canchari was aboard the winner out finishing  Rockin The Bleu’s, whose owner Jeff Hilger was full of hope minutes before the race. “We’re going to drain the swamp,” he said enthusiastically.

A well-timed line delivered in the relative safety of the grandstand where water pails had been set up in various stair wells and rooms, and some employees wondered if there was another building with more leaks other than the White House.

All in all, the turnout, 6,216, wasn’t that bad on a day designed for the fireside and a novel as opposed to outdoor activity of any kind.

The Lady Slipper has been run on sloppy tracks in the past, although nothing approaching Saturday’s bog-like conditions. That’s saying something, since the first time this race was run was 1985, the first year of pari-mutuel racing in Minnesota.  Trainer Chuck Taliaferro won the first two Lady Slippers, with Bold Polly taking the inaugural running.

The race belonged to Honey’s Sox Appeal at the top of the lane where she moved to a one-length lead, expanding on it as she lengthened her stride during the stretch run.

Honey’s Sox Appeal cruises in Lady Slipper

 

The first stakes race on Saturday’s card, the 10,000 Lakes, has a long and storied history as well.  Trainer Percy Scherbenske saddled a horse named Quiet I’m Thinking for Chet and Gerry Herringer in the first running, in 1991.

Rake Farms’ Bourbon County attempted to win this race for the third straight time.  He won the previous two runnings out of Bernell Rhone’s barn and made his third attempt under the hand of Robertson.

The race matched long-time rivals. Bourbon County defeated Hold For More, last year’s horse of the meet, by 1 ¾ lengths in the 10,000 Lakes last summer, his only victory of 2016. Hold for More defeated Bourbon County and Smooth Chiraz last year in the Crocrock Minnesota Sprint championship. Smooth Chiraz, on the other hand, won two of six starts last year, including the Victor S Myers.

There was a rider switch for this race involving the two entries trained by Francisco Bravo. Defending riding champion Dean Butler was on Hold for More for his sixth-place finish in the Paul Bunyan Stakes May 6. On Saturday, he was aboard Smooth Chiraz, the post-time favorite who ran last. Hold for More, was back on his game, meanwhile, as a 5-1 choice and left five rivals in his wake, finishing 2 ½ lengths in front of Bourbon County, with AP Is Loose, Robertson’s second horse, another length back.

The sloppy conditions did not worry Bravo, despite the concern of his barn assistants. “They were worried,” he said. “They worried about the slop and wet, but I told them it was better this way because a dry track here is deeper.”

Orlando Mojica and Rockin the Bleu’s were on the lead, nose-to-nose, with Honey’s Sox Appeal in the Lady Slipper. He had different orders from Bravo in the 10,000 Lakes. “We wanted to be off the lead, not too far back,” said Bravo. “You get six or seven lengths back and it takes too much work to catch up.”

Mojica didn’t let that happen. Last out of the gate in the six-horse field, he settled Hold for More two to three lengths off the leaders and began moving him up outside three horses on the turn. He was a half length in front of Bourbon County at the head of the lane and 2 ½ at the wire, in a time of 1:11.19.

Mojica had responded to Bravo’s parting words in the paddock. “Don’t go to the lead. But not too far back.”

Even on a rainy, miserable afternoon, plans executed properly can work out.

Bob Lindgren: Racehorse Owner

bob-lindgren-9-8-16-cby

Bob Lindgren, a stakes winning owner from Prior Lake, started owning racehorses when he claimed his first horse on June 13, 1984 after visiting  different racetracks over the years. In 2007 he stopped claiming horses and started breeding his horses.

Bob currently has two horses in training, one yearling at home and the others are boarded in Kentucky. Trainer Mac Robertson works with both of Bob’s horses that are racing this year, Thunder and Honey and Honey’s Sox Appeal.

Over the years Bob has had many winning horses but his favorite memory came from this year’s meet at Canterbury. “This year Honey’s Sox Appeal won the Bella Notte Minnesota Distaff Sprint Championship Stakes and it’s one of my favorite memories of being an owner,” Bob said.

Bob enjoys traveling to many different racetracks around the country and has been to more than 20 racetracks. He also makes it a priority to go to the horse sales in Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby .

“The biggest lesson I have learned with owning horses is to have more quality horses over quantity,” he explained. “That’s why I enjoy breeding my own horses over claiming horses because I know the quality that I am getting.”

When Bob isn’t spending time at the racetrack or with his horses he works as a tax preparer. He also enjoys boating, as he lives on a lake. He also enjoys watching football and has season tickets to the Minnesota Vikings in the new US Bank Stadium.