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Canterbury Connections – Week 1

Canterbury%20Park%207-25-13The live season has ended for 2013, but the blogging shall not. The bulging fields put forth at times for our race cards this year increased difficulty for both horseman and handicappers. It may not necessarily translate to national prominence, but already a few faces from our live racing have popped up in winners’ circles across the country.

In fact, Robertino Diodoro’s Artistic Design made his first appearance away from Canterbury a winning one at the Barrett’s meet in California (albeit against a rather cheap bunch.) Not to say that’s anything OUTSTANDING, but when’s the last time one of our shippers out of a maiden race went off as the heavy second choice and won out there?

More often than not, Minnesotan exports can be found at a price in their next outing. I’ll try to keep an eye on the combatants as they scatter this winter, especially the ones that may be let go on the toteboard. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom with any runners you find that could be worth playing with “CBY” in their running lines.

Friday – 9/20

Arlington Park

Race 8 – Blue Away – This was a rare private purchase by Mac Robertson towards the end of our meet from C L Wilson. Blue Away has never tried the turf, but seemed to catch Mac’s attention when he ran third behind the stable’s Cinco Y Cinco in a July maiden event. He received rest after that race and has improved ever since. His first race off the shelf wasn’t anything to write home about, but he did lose to an expensive first time starter by Midnight Lute named Pricelesscommodity.

The runner-up from that race, Choo Choo Charlie, will race Thursday at Barretts and could serve as a useful yardstick for this runner. His next race was much more useful, as he was a front-running second to stablemate Italian Monarch. Though he wasn’t good enough to beat that one on our second to last weekend, Mac had worked a lot longer with the latter than Blue Away. He’s not going to have as far to travel and he gets impressive young apprentice Emmanuel Esquivel for his first attempt at Arlington Park.

He doesn’t have a massive amount of turf influences in his pedigree but that may help the price. With the lack of success the Robertson barn has had sending horses from CBY to Arlington at the end of our season in recent years, these types can sometimes slip away on the board. Don’t count on double digits with the size of the field. He should improve once again though, and that makes him very dangerous despite the field he’s up against.

Remington Park

Race 2 – Sweet Sammie – The reason I mention this filly is because there’s a 9-5 morning line favorite drawn into her field. Yes, that one should be tough as nails considering her experience and recency but what has Francisco Bravo’s filly done wrong to date? Nothing. She and the favorite were both beaten by the talented Designer Legs in different events, but Sweet Sammie gave everything she had in only her second career start and didn’t come up that far behind. She’s broken her maiden since that time in professional fashion at Remington, and though the fig comes up a little light compared to the favorite that could work in a gambler’s favor. She breaks right on top each time and given her outside post, could either stalk a speed duel or gain the advantageous position throughout the race. She’s not going to be a bomb but she’s certainly going to be at a fair price, and with these fillies taking the leaps forward at this time of year rather than baby steps, she very well could take one here. The first try against winners can always be the toughest task in a young filly’s career, but she has plenty of talent and could show more Friday night.

Saturday – 9/21

Remington Park

Race 5 – Befuddler – While the morning line isn’t all that appetizing on Befuddler (9-2), it seems a square enough price for a solid filly facing off against mares not necessarily in the best of form. While she’s beat two horses in her last two races, she was also racing on the grass for her past couple of efforts. She is now sitting with a hefty 0-13 mark on the grass, and a return to this level on the dirt should be just what the doctor ordered. It appears she takes after her father than her mother, as three of her five scores lifetime have come at this sprint distance. She’s still split her career time between the two surfaces, and with those turf races out she’s actually quite solid. The Bravo trainee’s having a better year in 2013 too as well, having reeled off two in the beginning of the summer. To completely beat her case to death:

2/10 – Doubles her price tag, changes venues and returns fresh to score.

4/25 – This race was taken off the turf but she also went two turns for the first time in a while. Looks like she got a little tired but the crowd didn’t think much of her either (12-1)

5/17 – She bit off a little more than she could chew that night, but they all did when Second Street City stepped up to start her win streak. That day too, she was a longshot and ran like it. No harm in trying out a filly to gauge how she fits in with a sort of new group of horses, but she didn’t. The track also came up sloppy that night so who knows how she liked it.

6/8 – Befuddler appreciated the drop to conditioned fillies. In a rare pace-pressing effort, she scored easily.

6/20 – Reverting to her pressing/closing style, the step back into (easier) open company was no problem. She faces a similar group today and ran down a speedy Midwest filly named Chappy Chic.

7/4 – Not a bad effort as the chalk, but simply beaten by a filly who won twice more in the summer meet. The runner-up is a classy old vet who followed suit.

7/27 & 8/15 – As mentioned before, these were turf races and can be excused given her prior sub-par races.

These are just a few we saw this season running elsewhere – Good luck playing all the races this weekend including the Countdown to the Cup. Remember this week’s track is Belmont Park – First post 12:00. More information on this and all of our off-season contests can be found at!

This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela just completed her third year as Canterbury Park’s Analyst.