Jockey Dean Butler waited patiently on Appeal to the King, sitting just off the early pacesetter I Forgot It’s Name, before attacking at the top of the stretch and drawing off to win by 9 1/4 lengths in the $55,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes Sunday at Canterbury Park. The 3-year-old Minnesota-bred thoroughbred has now won three of five lifetime races, including the top prize for 2-year-olds bred in the state, the 2013 Northern Lights Futurity.
“I was in the catbird seat,” Butler said. “I asked and he just went on with it.”
Appeal to the King, owned by Wayne Simon of Tolstoy, S.D. and trained by Bob Johnson, has now earned $97,028. He returned $14.40 to win. Hansboro closed from last to finish second and Granite Ridge was third. I Forgot It’s Name faded to fifth. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:17.92 over a fast main track.
“We just let them do what they were going to do,” Johnson said of his riding instructions to Butler. “He was just going to keep close. This horse is just getting comfortable with himself.”
The $75,000 Minnesota Derby at one mile and seventy yards is 20 days away on Aug. 9 and would be the first time Appeal to the King would attempt a two-turn race were the connections to enter. “We haven’t decided on the derby yet,” Johnson said. “But the way he kicked home today you never know.”
Qualifiers for the AUG 3 NCQHRA Futurity
Lethal N First 18.113 Olmstead
Coronas Concierge 18.331 Olmstead
Red Velvet Hero 18.339 Hanson
My Girls Toasted 18.382 Pride
Trinity River Bell 18.388 Hardy
Ode Tah Ed 18.414 Goodsell
Pyc Powerwagon 18.437 Harris
I Am Ron Burgandy 18.595 Olmstead
TTY From Mr Pye 18.608 Hardy
BHR Guys Flash Me 18.653 Johnson