There was only one winning favorite in the 12-race Pegasus card last Saturday which was the focus for week 2 of Canterbury’s $25,000 Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest. That meant a mix of prices with one standout that was a must-have to win the week. Spooky Channel, a 5-year-old who started his career at Turf Paradise in 2018 and tried the Mystic Lake Mile in 2019, won the Grade 3 W. L. McKnight at odds of 36 to 1 providing backers in the contest with 1,072 points.
Todd Loose had that bomber and added another 1,062 points to win week 2 and the $300 first prize, plus three Canterbury Handicapper of the Year points, and entry to the Grand Prize contest that will send a player to the $3 million National Horseplayers Championship in 2021. The top five prize earners had selected Spooky Channel with 16 players in all taking the longshot winner.
This Saturday Gulfstream will be the R2K contest track once again with the Holy Bull offering double points along with two additional Derby prep bonus races, the Withers from Aqueduct and the Robert B. Lewis from Santa Anita, also on the contest docket.
First post at Gulfstream Park is 11am. The Canterbury Racebook opens at 10am and contest entry cards are available at the third level MVP Booth.
The Withers will go as the 9th at Aqueduct and has attracted a field of eight headed by Remsen winner Shotski.
The Robert B. Lewis is the 6th race at Santa Anita. Six are entered with Bob Baffert trainee Thousand Words, winner of the G2 Los Al Futurity in December, the likely betting choice.
The Holy Bull, one of five stakes on the program, is the 11th of 12 races at Gulfstream with seven 3-year-olds entered.
This week also offers the final chance to win an entry to the Feb. 15 Horse Player World Series Satellite Contest. The $10 super satellites are offered Thursday through Saturday. The winner Feb. 15 travels to Vega in March for the HPWS at The Orleans.
In other news……
Multiple stakes winner Amy’s Challenge, owned by Joe Novogratz of Minnesota and trained by Mac Robertson, is entered in Saturday’s $125,000 American Beauty Stakes at six furlongs. The now 5-year-old mare won the American Beauty in 2019 following a three-month layoff. On Saturday she makes her first start since running third in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Stakes on May 4, 2019 at Churchill Downs. She has five reported workouts at Oaklawn dating back to Dec. 17.
Ari Gia, winner of seven of 12 starts in 2019 including five at Canterbury Park, has recorded her second workout at Turf Paradise since returning to training, firing a bullet four-furlong drill in 48 flat on Tuesday. Her trainer Jose Silva, Jr., indicated the Minnesota-bred winner of the Lady Slipper Stakes and Bella Notte Distaff Sprint will race in Phoenix before returning to Shakopee where she presumably will defend her Lady Slipper title on May 16.