Part of the ongoing story of any racetrack are its historic races, often named in commemoration of founding fathers, famous horses or grand contributors to the game.
Many of those races have storied pasts and memorable results. Such is the legacy of the $100,000 Lady Canterbury, first run in 1986 and twice later as a Grade III event, a race with winners whose names roll off the tongue like a Sunday litany: to name a few – Paulson & Summa Stables’ Sauna, Nature’s Way, Maktoum al Maktoum’s Balbonella, Down Again, Fieldy and Falls Amiss, in addition to Go Go Jack, KZ Bay, and most recently Ruthville in 2012, owned by Kentucky royalty, Arthur B. Hancock III.
The $100,000 race, at one mile on the turf, will be run for the 21st time on Saturday and has attracted a competitive field of 12 fillies and mares.
This stellar card includes the $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile, also with 12 horses, and the $54,100 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby with a field of 10.
The eminent analysts of the pressbox and beyond, those irreproachable handicappers of unparalleled acumen and insight, have varied views on the race.
Paddock analyst Angela Hermann sized up the day’s stakes races with this terse but terrific analysis:
“Whether it is their hockey team or their horses, those from Chicago play to win,” she said. “Leave any of them out at your own peril.”
You will find numerous horses with dossiers that include plenty of work in the Windy City.
For pressbox guardian and provider of program riches Jeff Maday, the Lady C looks like this:
“Kune Kune and (trainer) Joan Scott are right there. She should sit right off the pace and win… at a decent price,” he said.
“Hooh Why was good but maybe is past her prime. The (Barry and Joni) Butzow horse (Bryan’s Jewel) has a big chance but I hate that (No. 10) post out there.'”
And then there is irrefutable logic and insight of racing operations analyst Andrew Offerman:
“I don’t know quite what to make of this one,” he said. “Bryan’s Jewel (last year’s runnerup) is most likely to win. The horse was capable of winning a Grade III race and ran in a Grade I.”
Bryan’s Jewel won last time out, the Grade III Obeah at Delaware Park on June 15 at a mile and 1/8. Her previous race produced a win, too, in stakes competition at a mile and 1/16.
Track announcer Paul Allen was succinct in his outlook on the Lady Canterbury “I’ve been pulling for the local horses since KZ Bay won in 1997,” he said. There are chances from all over the country but don’t overlook local Lady Haddassah who is red hot and most importantly 15-1.”
Then there is the inaugural running Saturday of the $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile at a mile on the turf for three-year-olds and older, also with a field of 12. “This is a heck of a race,” said the pressbox impresario. “I like A Diehl. That horse looks pretty good. But if they let Hammer’s Terror go alone, he could be tough to beat. Somebody needs to hook up with him. It will come down to the ride.”
The race features the winner and runner-up of the Brooks Fields Stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on June 16. Hammer’s Terror, winner of the inaugural Mystic Lake Derby last summer, finished one length in front of Slip and Drive in the Brooks Fields. “He’ll be coming,” added Maday.
“You can’t rule too many of out of this one,” added Offerman. “You can make a case for eight of the 12 horses in this one. There can’t be too many people in this one who look at the PPs and think they don’t have a chance.”
Senor Allen has this pithy portrait of the race:
“If you missed Hammer’s Terror in the Brooks Fields, fret not. You’ll get it all back and then some when he wins the Mystic Lake Mile.”
Stacy Charette-Hill has been the queen of the quarter horse stables this summer and there is no reason to think she won’t be wearing the crown again after the Derby.
She has three of the horses in the field: First Prize Wagon, Hr Ebony Princess and Hr Money Maker, the fastest qualifier of the 10.
Hr Money Maker is a 3-1 morning line choice and will be ridden by the leading quarter horse rider of the meet, Jorge Torres.
THURSDAY BABIES OFFER POTENTIAL PREVIEW OF SHAKOPEE JUVENILE
Rumbauer (pictured below), a 2-year-old Artie Schiller colt, put on the late rush to win Thursday night’s third race convincingly, a five-furlong event for maiden two-year-olds.
Ridden by Ry Eikleberry, it was an impressive finish by Rumbauer, who is likely headed to the inaugural running of the $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf Aug. 3. “Maybe,” said trainer Dave Van Winkle, later adding, “that’s been our dream all along.”
The race will be run on the undercard of the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday, August 3.
THURSDAY NIGHT HANDLE APPROACHES RECORD
Wagering on Thursday night’s card totaled $805,212. The $605,300 wagered off-track was the most wagered on a Thursday night (non-holiday) card since August 2004 and was close to breaking the all-time Thursday night (non-holiday) record of $634,407.
Pick 4 players will be happy to hear that the late Pick 4 handled $25,014 – the largest thus far in 2013 and a substantial increase from the average 2012 Pick 4 pool of $7,500. The 14% takeout wager returned $80.70 for $.50 with winners paying ($5.60, $9.00, $3.20 and $6.80).
There were two winning tickets in the early Pick 4 which returned a massive $5,246.2o for $.50. The key to hitting the early Pick 4 was coming up with Affirmed Cure, the $86.20 winner of the night’s 4th race. Not a bad return on investment for a $.50 minimum bet.
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.