Some of Canterbury’s top older horses return to the track this week for the 13th running of The Bob Morehouse Memorial Stakes, a 400-yard race for three-year-olds and up. Though it is an open event, preference goes to Minnesota-breds, and only one entry in the field hails from outside the state.
Thursday, July 26th: The Bob Morehouse Memorial Stakes, $12,500, 400 yards
Leading Trainer: Ed Ross Hardy (6)
Leading Jockey: Tad Leggett (3)
Record Purse: $22,250, won by First Class Smarty in 2009
Last year the race went to Lien on Me, a three-year-old Minnesota-bred gelding owned by Tom Pouliot, trained by Brent Clay, and ridden by Jennifer Schmidt. The horse overcame a slow start to defeat post-favorite Six It Up by half a length at the wire as the 8-1 upset winner. His time of 20.081 earned him a 96 speed index but was not fast enough to reach the stakes record time of 19.85, set in 2006 by First Smart Muggins.
Lien on Me’s victory prevented Six It Up from earning two consecutive Morehouse victories, after winning the race in 2010 as a three-year-old. She returns this year to avenge her loss and try to become the second horse to win the event multiple times, following the form of First Class Smarty, who won in 2007 and 2009 (the race was not held in 2008). The five-year-old Tres Seis mare will make her third start of the year and third start for trainer Amber Blair. #5 Six It Up (4-1) has yet to find her way into the winners’ circle in over a year, but her affinity for this track and her back class may work in her favor Thursday. In her 11 lifetime starts at Canterbury, she has hit the board nine times, including five wins. She has been running in open races at Canterbury as well as Prairie Meadows, where she finished third behind Champion Mare Spit Curl Diva in the Grade 3 Keokuk Stakes last fall.
Six It Up isn’t the only horse returning from last year’s running of this event; #6 Dangerous Guns (5-1) will return following his disappointing sixth place finish in 2011. Dangerous Guns will try 400 yards for the first time since that race; the six-year-old gelding has been competing exclusively in 870-yard races at Canterbury, Louisiana, and Prairie Meadows. He steps back up in class to compete here but is 11 for 20 in the money at this track.
Dangerous Guns’ toughest competition may be from his half-brother, Explosive Guns (3-1) who will run alongside him to the outside. Explosive Guns typically runs against tougher company and is taking well to longer distances, including a fast closing finish in last month’s Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ and NCQHRA Derby to earn third place.
Keep an eye on #4 Dutch Wagon: This four-year-old son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon is trained by leading quarter horse trainer Ed Hardy and ridden by Nik Goodwin; these two combine for a 38% win percentage at this meet. Don’t let the class bump fool you, this horse has been facing tough horses at Prairie Meadows and Remington Park, and appears to be rounding into form since shipping up to Canterbury this summer. His last race was a $10,000 claiming event, but it was for non-winner of three lifetime, and he won easily as the post-time favorite. He won by half a length; though this is not a large margin of victory, a horse that wins by more than a nose typically will have more to offer when they are pushed by faster horses.
Recap: Dash In A Flash Stakes, Saturday, July 21st
If you caught Extreme Race day last Saturday at Canterbury Park, you witnessed novelty events outside of horse racing as well as one within our sport: the hundred-yard dash. The $15,000 Dash In A Flash Stakes was a 110-yard event open to three-year-olds and up.
This is the first time the event has been run as a stakes race since 2008 and it was the first 110-yard race in track history (previous Dash in a Flash stakes were held at 100 yards). The entries included two horses that had last raced at Prairie Meadows and one shipper from Boise, but the victory went to the local Red Hot Zoomer (pictured above), who was second out of the gate but surged to a half-length win over Trs Dashin Rona.
Red Hot Zoomer is a three-year-old filly by Azoom, out of the Jody O Toole mare Prairie War, bred in Texas by Jim Pitts. She is owned by Terry Thorson, trained by Ed Ross Hardy and was ridden by Nik Goodwin.
Are you betting this jockey angle yet? Nik is now 35 of 41 in the money for quarter horse starts this meet; 31 of 41 starts as the first or second place finisher. Congratulations to the connections of this talented young filly; we can expect to continue to see great things from her in the future.
This blog was written by AQHA Q-Racing Ace Jen Perkins. Jen travels to tracks across the country to educate fans about handicapping and Quarter Horse racing, and shares her perspective on Canterbury Quarter Horse racing as well as insider information on America’s fastest athletes.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography