Mystic Lake Derby Day Nears

MysticDerby_LogoGo ahead and pick up the champagne, dig out the attire you wore last year for the race, careful to assure everything is the same, not a single accoutrement out-of-place, cross your fingers and don’t say anything that might be construed as a jinx.

“My dad’s superstitious,” said Lori Keith. “It will have to be the same shirt, everything.”

The topic at hand is the second running of the Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday and the preparations of Mr and Mrs. Keith – William and Philomena (or Bill and Phil as they’re known) – for Saturday’s race.

For the uniformed, Lori Keith, a native of England and a regular rider at Canterbury Park, won the first running of the biggest race in Canterbury Park history last year aboard Hammers Terror, owned by Terry Hamilton and trained by Michael Stidham.

Bill asked his daughter in a recent conversation whether she would ride in the race again this year. When she informed him that the chances appeared good, he began making plans. “He wanted to know if he should get the champagne,” Lori said.

Keith’s parents, who own a restaurant in the South of France, watched the inaugural running down the street from the restaurant, at an acquaintance’s home. Good viewing, just a matter of connecting the laptop to the telly, as they say, and they saw their daughter win the biggest race of her career.

They plan on looking in again on Saturday.

Keith will ride a horse named Dorsett, owned once again by Hamilton and trained once again by Stidham. And, get this, she is breaking from the No. 2 hole in an eight-horse field, just as last year.

A year ago, Keith took the morning line second choice to the winner’s circle after surviving a stewards’ inquiry for interference in the stretch. This time she is on the 5/2 morning line favorite.

“I think he has a great shot,” she said. “On paper he looks very good, but I think it will be a very competitive race.”

Dorsett, a son of Artie Schiller from Dontgetnmyway, has two wins, a second and a third from eight career starts with earnings of $74,670. He is part of a field of eight that will engage at one mile on the turf.

$200,000 Mystic Lake Derby Field & Morning Line
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Impassable Canyon Michael Maker Victor Lebron 5-1
2 Dorsett Michael Stidham Lori Keith 5/2
3 Finding Candy Michael Biehler Denny Velazquez 12-1
4 Coastal Breeze Wayne Catalano Channing Hill 4-1
5 Kale’s Kourage Kelly Von Hemel Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Evan’s Calling Neil Pessin Eddie Martin Jr. 8-1
7 Red Zeus Dan McFarlane Alex Canchari 6-1
8 Officer Alex Lynn Whiting Leandro Goncalves 9/2

Last year the purse was for a guaranteed $150,000 and produced a total of $162,000 and change after adding in the entry fees. This year the race offers a guaranteed $200,000. The lion’s share of that funding, $150,000, is provided by the Mystic Lake purse enhancement fund.

The inside post was drawn by Impassable Canyon, a colt by Tapit from Anna Forever, owned by F. Thomas Conway and trained by Mike Maker.

Finding Candy will line up in the No. 3 hole. He is a colt by Candy Ride, owned locally by Al and Bill Ulwelling and trained by Mike Biehler.

The No. 4 hole will go to Coastal Breeze, a colt by Empire Maker that is owned by Barry Golden and trained by Wayne Catalano. The No. 5 hole belongs to Kale’s Kourage who has earned $85,511 lifetime and has won three of his seven career starts. He is owned by Pam Von Hemel and trained by Kelly Von Hemel.

Lining up in the No. 6 spot will be Evan’s Calling, with one win in 11 career starts. The No. 7 belongs to Red Zeus, who has earned $112, 426, running primarily at Turf Paradise in Phoenix with two starts locally, including a win at six furlongs his last out. He is owned by Peggy Hopwood and trained by Dan McFarlane.

Officer Alex drew the outside post. He has earned $163,000 running on the circuit between Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. He is trained by Lynn Whiting, who saddled Lil E. Tee, the winner of the 1992 Kentucky Derby.

So, there you have it, the lineup for the richest race in Canterbury Park history, a whopping $200,000 guaranteed and an opportunity for Lori Keith to top last year’s take.

“Oh, I can’t believe it,” she said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Is superstition a genetic trait?

SHAKOPEE JUVENILE AND NORTHBOUND PRIDE OAKS

Both races offer $100,000-guaranteed purses.

The Oaks at a mile on the turf has been run in some form, fashion or name since 1985 and was won in 2012 by Soonerette, ridden by riding champion Tanner Riggs for Donnie Von Hemel.

$100,000 Northbound Pride Oaks & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Eden Prairie Neil Pessin Channing Hill 3-1
2 Kipling’s Joy Michael Stidham Dean Butler 9/2
3 Stoupinator Mac Robertson Alex Canchari 5-1
4 I’m Already Sexy Wayne Catalano Scott Stevens 4-1
5 Seeking Treasure Larry Dunbar Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Raising Dakota Tevis McCauley Luis Garcia 8-1
7 Kissmeimdanish Valorie Lund Derek Bell 8-1
8 American Sugar Kenneth McPeek Victor Lebron 6-1

Saturday’s edition has a field of eight, including the Ken McPeek-trained American Sugar, who is trying the grass for the first time and is 5-0-3 from 13 starts with earnings of more than $200,000. Robert Lothenbach’s Eden Prairie is 2-0-1 from six grass starts and earnings of $70,000-plus. Michael Stidham’s Kipling’s Joy is 2-0-3 from nine career starts, both wins on the grass, with earnings of $62,200.

I’m Already Sexy arrived from Arlington Park and has won twice from three turf starts, is three-for-six overall, and earned $81,141. Wayne Catalano trains. Locally-owned Stoupinator, trained by Mac Robertson, has hit the board three times in three turf starts and is 2-1-2 overall from six career starts with earnings of $76,000. Here’s a look at the field:

The Juvenile, for colts/geldings and fillies, is being run for the first time, at 7 and 1/2 furlongs on the turf and has attracted a field of nine boys.

$100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Field & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    A P Is Loose Michael Biehler Lori Keith 6-1
2 Aft Michael Lauer Leandro Goncalves 8-1
3 Rumbauer David Van Winkle Ry Eikleberry 6-1
4 My Corinthian Dane Kobiskie Luis Garcia 7/2
5 Fling Orrin Cogburn Eddie Martin Jr. 12-1
6 Clarisimo Sandra Sweere Nik Goodwin 10-1
7 General Jack Michael Maker Victor Lebron 3-1
8 Chairman Crooks Tony Rengstorf Dean Butler 6-1
9 Pure Surprize Vic Hanson Jenna Joubert 10-1

Among those is a 2-year-old colt named General Jack, a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway who is looking to break his maiden on Saturday after running second among maiden special weights for $70,000 at Belmont Park.

He had a bullet work in late June and is trained by Mike Maker who has made a habit of winning big races at Canterbury.

Aft, trained by Michael Lauer, broke his maiden last time out in Indiana. Lauer tried to run Aft on the lead his first out and finished second. He ran him off the pace in his second start with improved results.

My Corinthian has hit the board three times in three career starts and was the first of the shippers to arrive, stabling here on Monday. He is trained by Dane Kobiskie. He is 1-1-1 from three career starts and is 1-1-0 from two outs on the grass.

Mike Biehler will saddle A P Is Loose, who ran third in his first start, at Canterbury on July 11. Clarisimo, trained by Sandra Sweere, is another local horse who broke his maiden here on June 16. Dave Van Winkle will saddle locally stabled Rumbauer, who broke his maiden under Ry Eikleberry on July 11 in his second start.

Vic Hanson will send out Pure Surprize, a local juvenile who broke his maiden at first asking on July 14. Fling, trained by Orrin Cogburn, did not hit the board in two previous starts.

Curtis Sampson’s Chairman Crooks, named for the late leader of the Mdewakanton Community, is trying the grass for the first time. He broke his maiden first time out, on June 13.

Wagering Opportunities Abound

The three races will be run as races 6, 7 and 8 on the card with the Oaks leading off, followed by the Juvenile and then the 2nd running of the Mystic Lake Derby. Post times are 4:10 CDT, 4:40 CDT and the Mystic Lake Derby will go off at 5:12 CDT. The three races anchor Saturday’s late pick 4 which continues to feature a 14% takeout, among the lowest in the country. Additionally, the three stakes comprise an all-turf Pick 3 also featuring the same low takeout rate of 14%.

Check back here often to learn more about the participants for Saturday’s big races over the coming days.

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.

Pick 3 & Pick 4 Takeout Cut to 14%

Canterbury Park is introducing a wagering friendly 14% takeout for its Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools this summer. The reduction in takeout from 23% to 14% make these some of the lowest takeout rates in the country, and in my view players should absolutely be focusing on these wagers over the course of the summer. Canterbury Park will offer rolling Pick 3s and an early and late Pick 4 each day. A Pick 4 carryover will occur if nobody correctly selects all four winners in the sequence. This article will focus on the Pick 4, and offer a few strategies for tackling this popular and challenging wager.

Check out Opening Day Entries by Clicking Here

The Pick 4 involves selecting the winner of four consecutive races. The wager carries a 50-cent minimum bet, which allows for multiple combinations to be played at a reasonable price. The Pick 4 is quite a bit more complex than the Pick 3, mainly because the extra race provides so many more possible outcomes. For example, a Pick 3 sequence of three consecutive eight horse fields would offer a total of 512 possible outcomes (8*8*8=512), whereas a Pick 4 sequence of four consecutive eight horse fields offers a total of 4,096 possible outcomes (8*8*8*8=4,096). It’s not easy to hit but the rewards are potentially great!

Last year, the average Pick 4 pool size at Canterbury Park was approximately $5,000. The new 14% takeout rate will hopefully increase that pool size this summer! A modest investment could possibly return thousands of dollars, something that can’t be achieved with a single win bet. Let’s take a look at a few different approaches to constructing a Pick 4 ticket.

The Caveman: Coined by Steven Crist of the Daily Racing Form, this approach is simplistic in that it involves playing all your contenders from the entire sequence on one ticket. If you like 4 horses in the first leg, 2 horses in the second leg, 4 horses in the third leg, and 2 horses in the final leg, you would simply put them all on the same ticket and the cost would be $32 dollars (4*2*4*2=64 combinations * 50-cents = $32 dollars). The advantage to this strategy is that if one of your contenders wins all four races you will definitely win the bet. The disadvantage to this strategy is that you are playing each horse equally in the sequence, without any preference for your stronger plays. Here are a few additional methods of play worth considering:

The Solid Single: In the above example, let’s assume the two races where we used 2 horses included a favorite and a longshot. We could use each favorite as a “single” and play two tickets as follows: (4*1*4*2 and 4*2*4*1). The total cost is still $32 but we have the opportunity to win the wager twice if both singled favorites happen to win, and we can still do as well as we would have done with the “Caveman” approach if one of the two singles wins. We are only vulnerable if both longshots win, which is not a pleasant scenario to contemplate!

The Longshot Single: If you want to swing for the home run, singling longshots in Pick 3’s and Pick 4’s is certainly a good way to go. Longshots, or “separators” as they are also called, really drive these wagers into big overlay territory. Putting $20 to win on a 10-1 shot is great when the horse wins and you collect $200, but singling that same 10-1 winner in the Pick 4 could result in a pool sweeper or a potential 4-figure score. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s something to consider when looking at options for your wagering dollar.

One last thing, the Pick 4 generally results in a payoff greater than the win parlay for the sequence. It’s another thing that makes the wager attractive. Here’s a real life example from a recent Pick 4 sequence.

The win payoffs were $6.60, $6.20, $6.00 and $4.40. This is certainly a hittable sequence with a 6/5 shot and three 2-1 shots. The $2 win parlay would have returned approximately $135 dollars. The $2 Pick 4 in this case returned nearly $350, a huge improvement over what the win parlay paid. Assuming similar pool sizes with Canterbury Park, the lower takeout rates at Canterbury would have pushed this same payoff up near $400!

Play the Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers at Canterbury Park. Good Luck!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Pick 3 & Pick 4 Takeout Cut to 14%

Canterbury Park is introducing a wagering friendly 14% takeout for its Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools this summer. The reduction in takeout from 23% to 14% make these some of the lowest takeout rates in the country, and in my view players should absolutely be focusing on these wagers over the course of the summer. Canterbury Park will offer rolling Pick 3s and an early and late Pick 4 each day. A Pick 4 carryover will occur if nobody correctly selects all four winners in the sequence. This article will focus on the Pick 4, and offer a few strategies for tackling this popular and challenging wager.

Check out Opening Day Entries by Clicking Here

The Pick 4 involves selecting the winner of four consecutive races. The wager carries a 50-cent minimum bet, which allows for multiple combinations to be played at a reasonable price. The Pick 4 is quite a bit more complex than the Pick 3, mainly because the extra race provides so many more possible outcomes. For example, a Pick 3 sequence of three consecutive eight horse fields would offer a total of 512 possible outcomes (8*8*8=512), whereas a Pick 4 sequence of four consecutive eight horse fields offers a total of 4,096 possible outcomes (8*8*8*8=4,096). It’s not easy to hit but the rewards are potentially great!

Last year, the average Pick 4 pool size at Canterbury Park was approximately $5,000. The new 14% takeout rate will hopefully increase that pool size this summer! A modest investment could possibly return thousands of dollars, something that can’t be achieved with a single win bet. Let’s take a look at a few different approaches to constructing a Pick 4 ticket.

The Caveman: Coined by Steven Crist of the Daily Racing Form, this approach is simplistic in that it involves playing all your contenders from the entire sequence on one ticket. If you like 4 horses in the first leg, 2 horses in the second leg, 4 horses in the third leg, and 2 horses in the final leg, you would simply put them all on the same ticket and the cost would be $32 dollars (4*2*4*2=64 combinations * 50-cents = $32 dollars). The advantage to this strategy is that if one of your contenders wins all four races you will definitely win the bet. The disadvantage to this strategy is that you are playing each horse equally in the sequence, without any preference for your stronger plays. Here are a few additional methods of play worth considering:

The Solid Single: In the above example, let’s assume the two races where we used 2 horses included a favorite and a longshot. We could use each favorite as a “single” and play two tickets as follows: (4*1*4*2 and 4*2*4*1). The total cost is still $32 but we have the opportunity to win the wager twice if both singled favorites happen to win, and we can still do as well as we would have done with the “Caveman” approach if one of the two singles wins. We are only vulnerable if both longshots win, which is not a pleasant scenario to contemplate!

The Longshot Single: If you want to swing for the home run, singling longshots in Pick 3’s and Pick 4’s is certainly a good way to go. Longshots, or “separators” as they are also called, really drive these wagers into big overlay territory. Putting $20 to win on a 10-1 shot is great when the horse wins and you collect $200, but singling that same 10-1 winner in the Pick 4 could result in a pool sweeper or a potential 4-figure score. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s something to consider when looking at options for your wagering dollar.

One last thing, the Pick 4 generally results in a payoff greater than the win parlay for the sequence. It’s another thing that makes the wager attractive. Here’s a real life example from a recent Pick 4 sequence.

The win payoffs were $6.60, $6.20, $6.00 and $4.40. This is certainly a hittable sequence with a 6/5 shot and three 2-1 shots. The $2 win parlay would have returned approximately $135 dollars. The $2 Pick 4 in this case returned nearly $350, a huge improvement over what the win parlay paid. Assuming similar pool sizes with Canterbury Park, the lower takeout rates at Canterbury would have pushed this same payoff up near $400!

Play the Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers at Canterbury Park. Good Luck!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.