Midnight Current defends Princess Elaine title; Xtreme Diva fastest 2-year-old
Canterbury Park’s leading jockey Harry Hernandez won five of the 10 races Saturday on the Minnesota Festival of Champions program including three
of the evening’s six stakes. His first stakes victory came in the $75,000 Blair’s Cove Minnesota Turf Championship taking Jose Patio gate to wire for trainer Mike Biehler and owners Barry and Joni Butzow. His second stakes win was aboard prohibitive favorite Midnight Current in the $75,000 Princess Elaine Distaff Turf for trainer Joel Berndt. The two teamed up again to win the $100,000 Northern Lights Futurity with Frosty View. Both Midnight Current and Frosty View are owned and were bred by Bob Lothenbach’s Lothenbach Stables Inc, the leading owner at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack. Berndt and Lothenbach have now won the Northern Lights Futurity four consecutive years. Jose Patio paid $10.60 to win, Midnight Current $2.60 and Frosty View $6.80.
Hernandez, last season’s top rider, also won two turf allowance races for trainer Tony Rengstorf guiding West Island and Sunshine Fever to victory.
Berndt and Lothenbach found the winner’s circle again with Charlie’s Penny who won the $75,000 Bella Notte Distaff Sprint by 4 3/4 lengths with Lindey Wade riding. The 5-year-old mare beat favorite Cupids Crush and jockey Eduardo Gallardo who was riding for Xtreme Racing Stables, LLC and trainer Mac Robertson. Charlie’s Penny, who won the Bella Notte in 2022, paid $6.60.
Gallardo, Xtreme Racing and Robertson won earlier on the card with Xtreme Diva in the $100,000 Northern Lights Debutante. The 2-year-old filly, who paid $2.80 as the favorite, covered six furlongs in 1:10.89, much faster than the 2-year-old gelding Frosty View whose final time was 1:12.33.
The fastest six furlongs of the night was recorded by Doctor Oscar who won the $75,000 Crocrock Sprint by six lengths in 1:09.66 under jockey Alonzo Quinonez. The 4-year-old colt is trained by
Tim Padilla and is owned and was bred by Pete Mattson. Doctor Oscar was favored and paid $3.00.
The Minnesota Festival of Champions, being run for the thirtieth time, is restricted to horses bred in the state. Handle for the 10-race card was $1,431,366, the fourth largest handle total in the event’s history.
Two days of racing remain in the 53-day season. Racing will be conducted Wednesday and Saturday, Sept, 13 and 16 beginning at 4:00 p.m. CT.