By Katie Merritt
Sunday’s 10-race program at Canterbury Park includes two $100,000 turf stakes, the 25th running of the Lady Canterbury will be the 7th race and the Mystic Lake Mile, now in its fifth year, will be run as the 8th race. Both stakes will be run at a distance of one mile on the turf course. Racing begins on Father’s Day at 12:45 p.m.
The Lady Canterbury dates back to the spring of 1986 when it was the first race to be run on the turf course at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack. The inaugural Lady Canterbury was won by Sauna with jockey Chris McCarron aboard for owners Allen Paulson and Summa Stables. Over the years the race has continued to draw top connections from around the country.
The 2017 rendition is no exception as 10 fillies and mares have been entered. Several nationally-known trainers are shipping to Canterbury to compete for the $100,000 purse. Mike Maker has entered morning line favorite Gianna’s Dream, who has run 12 times, at 7 different racetracks, and has only finished off the board twice. Being the favorite in the Lady Canterbury may not be the best position to be in, however, as the favorite has only won the race three times since 1986. This will be Gianna’s Dream’s first start since December of last year. Maker won the Lady Canterbury two years in a row in 2013 and 2014 with Awesome Flower. Bill Mott, who also won the Lady Canterbury in 2003 with Stylish, has Zayat Stables’ Insta Erma, who has a second and a third so far this year amongst tough allowance company at Keeneland and Belmont. Insta Erma will be ridden by Dean Butler. Ian Wilkes ships in with Sweet Tapper, to be ridden by Orlando Mojica, who is also looking for her first win this year after a second and a third in solid allowances at Churchill and Arlington – both races that were originally scheduled to be run on the turf, but were moved to the main track.
The morning line favorite in the Mystic Lake Mile is 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Hootenanny for trainer Wesley Ward. The 5 year old horse by Quality Road has hit the board 8 out of 13 times. In addition to his Breeder’s Cup win, Hootenanny is also known for being one of the few American shippers to win a stake race at Royal Ascot. Hootenanny most recently finished fourth in the Grade 3 Hanshin at Arlington Park, three lengths behind longshot winner Crewman, who he will face again Sunday in the Mystic Lake Mile. Julio Garcia has been named to ride.
Bernie Flint-trained One Mean Man, winner of the 2016 Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury, is also entered to run, looking to win his first race since the Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds in December. The four-year-old grey colt will be ridden by Orlando Mojica. Locally-stabled Hay Dakota, trained by Joel Berndt and ridden by Denny Velazquez, is another top choice in the Mystic Lake Mile. The four-year-old bay gelding has not won in three starts this year, but was the winner of the Grade 3 Commonwealth at Churchill Downs last November.
The Quarter Horses will also contest a stake race earlier in the card. The $20,000 added Skip Zimmerman Memorial Stakes will be run as the first race and has drawn a field of 10 horses. The Fiscal Cliff, trained by Kasey Willis and ridden by Benito Jude Baca, hi-lights the race. The four year old colt has 17 lifetime starts to date, with 10 wins and 6 seconds. His last race was a win in the Grade 2 Bob Moore Memorial Stakes on April 22 at Remington Park. Eagles Span, Jr Rock Star and Streakin Pr will likely by vying for second choice on the tote board. The Olmstead-trained Eagles Span enters the race off of an Allowance Optional Claimer here at Canterbury Park and will be ridden by Brayan Velazquez. Jr Rock Star, also trained by Olmstead was most recently 4th in Optional Claimer at Remington in May, but won an Allowance at Canterbury last August. Streakin Pr, trained by Kasey Willis and ridden by David Pinon was 4th last out in the Boyd Morris Memorial Handicap at Remington Park, after winning an Allowance there in his prior start.
Leg Up Fund Poker Tournament is Monday