by Angela Hermann
Canterbury welcomes its 2011 Hall of Fame inductees next week. The Minnesota racing fan that has not heard of Mac Robertson, Derek Bell or Sir Tricky is a rarity. Although all of our new Hall-of-Famers have won their share of races (and them some), these three as a team packed quite a punch. Let’s take a look back at their success together:
· 2008 Blair’s Cove Stakes – Leading an uncoupled three horse entry from the Robertson barn, Sir Tricky avenged his defeat in the 2007 edition of the Blair’s Cove by defeating rival Torpedo Man. Sitting just off the pace under D-Bell, the gelding waited patiently and took over when asked, defeating stablemate Joni’s Justice by a neck at 5-2. This was Sir Tricky’s second turf stakes win, but his first strike with his fellow Hall of Famer.
· 2008 Minnesota Sprint Championship Stakes – Showcasing his versatility, ‘Tricky shortened up and switched surfaces for his second stakes victory of 2008, closing from short range to track down future stablemate Captain Canaveral. The public was not fooled twice, sending him off favored for a paltry $3.80 payoff. Though he would not return to defend his title in 2009, Mac & Derek retained the Sprint with a win by speedy three year old Bizet.
· 2008 Kenny Schoepf Stakes – Closing day in 2008 was another winning afternoon for Sir Tricky, as he and fellow Robertson trainee Bee O Bee Bob took on five foes in the Kenny Schoepf. Setting the stage for a few years down the road, Derek Bell and Dean Butler closed together to put away a talented field in 1:10 and 2/5. To no one’s surprise, a dollar exacta returned a whopping $5.60. Their one-two finish as the first and second choices (respectively) put the icing on the cake of another championship season for Mac.
· 2009 10,000 Lakes Stakes – Though all three went on to future success, their final hurrah together came in Sir Tricky’s second 10,000 Lakes triumph. Though he finished fourth in 2008, the gallant old gelding turned in a strong rally in his 2009 debut to win by two widening lengths. This ended up being his only victory of the season, but certainly not his swan song in Minnesota stakes racing. What happened next? Well, Sir Tricky did what any 10,000 Lakes winner would do – Become the following year’s Champion Turf Horse.
Congratulations to this trio, and to all of our 2011 inductees. Hats off to you gentlemen!