by Annise Montplaisir
Festival Day anticipation
The connections of Hold For More may be hoping for more after winning a $31,000 maiden race for Minnesota breds today. The 2-year-old bay gelding by Hold Me Back out of Miners Mirage will likely be pointed towards the $75,000 Northern Lights Futurity for colts and geldings on August 31 at Canterbury. Trained by Francisco Bravo, Hold For More ran three wide on the far turn and drove past Ricknlikahurricane in the stretch to win by five lengths. He concluded the five and a half furlongs in a time of 1:07.12 and paid $7.40 to win. Hold For More and prospective Northern Lights Futurity opponent Prayintheprairie were both bred by Woodmere Farm. Prayintheprairie is trained by Victor Hanson and won a maiden special weight for $31,000 on August 3 at Canterbury. Hold For More is owned by Dale Schenian and Prayintheprairie by James Thares. Hooves crossed that both horses make it into the starting gates on Minnesota Festival of Champions Day. Woodmere Farms will be well represented by these two fine geldings.
Multiple stakes winner Badge of Glory recaptured last year’s impressive form, winning a claiming sprint by one and a quarter lengths. The 4-year-old filly has been off her game since her third-place finish in the Glitter Star Minnesota Distaff Classic Championship Stakes on September 1, 2013. She has not lit the board in her past 4 starts, but dropped back to stalk the field in today’s 3rd race, going eight wide in the stretch and closing to beat out second place finisher Switchen Er Up. Badge of Glory is owned by Cheryl Sprick and Richard Bremer, and trained by Bernell Rhone. ‘Glory’s regular rider Scott Stevens was replaced by Dean Butler after an accident that left him sidelined. Stevens joined Badge of Glory in the winner’s circle and praised the filly by saying “See, she goes, don’t she.”
Despite the rain and slop, today was a day for longshots. Two highly unexpected winners left many scratching their heads in surprise. A Thousand Talents won race four, paying $64.40 to win. Cool N Ready Red charged under the wire in race five, a $27,000 maiden special weight, paying a whopping $80 for the win. For those who don’t believe in luck, there’s always a chance of winning at the races.
Dean Butler has begun to close the gap in the jockey standings between himself, Ry Eikleberry and Alex Canchari. Butler tacked on two wins today- race one aboard Hold For More and race three on Badge of Glory – bringing his total to 46, three behind Eikleberry and Canchari.