Five 2-year-olds that have won at Canterbury this summer are shipping to Prairie Meadows for stakes races Saturday evening. Doctor Oscar, Jacks Willie and Pepper Spray go six furlongs in the $100,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile while Viva El Capitan and She’s My Warrior run in the $100,000 Prairie Gold Lassie for fillies.
Why are Minnesota-breds Doctor Oscar, Jacks Willie and She’s My Warrior leaving town to face open company when Minnesota Festival Day and $100,000 pots facing statebreds await Sept. 8? The money is an obvious answer. Pete Mattson, owner/breeder of Doctor Oscar and co-owner breeder with trainer Tim Padilla of She’s My Warrior offered his explanation. First he thinks they are good enough to win. Hard to argue that as Doctor Oscar’s 51.43 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs is the fastest at that distance this meet.
Second, when a 2-year-old wins early in the Canterbury meet, there are “no other races”
according to Mattson. A non-winner of two condition is rarely offered and the open-company Shakopee Juvenile is not until closing day, just eight days after Festival.
The fear is a horse might come into Festival Day flat. Mattson has his own example. Last year Molly’s Angel, owned and bred by Mattson, won on July 7 and was not seen again until the Northern Lights Debutante on Festival Day. She went favored and never fired. Thealligatorhunter, owned with Padilla, won July 21 last year, returned to action in the September Northern Lights Futurity, and he too did not run well. “They both flopped,” said Mattson matter-of-factly.
The timing is perfect for this Iowa race and then forward to the premier Minnesota-bred day.
Canterbury jockey’s make the trip as well. Chad Lindsay rides Doctor Oscar for David Van Winkle. Luis Valenzuela rides Pepper Spray for Ed Kereluk. Dean Butler gets Jacks Willie for Kerri Raven. Alonso Quinonez ships with She’s My Warrior. Lindey Wade rides Viva El Capitan for Robertino Diodoro.
Prairie Meadows begins at 6pm with the Juvenile scheduled for 9pm followed by the Lassie. The Canterbury Park Racebook will be open for wagering all day.