Eddie Martin, Jr. says good-bye quietly, simply ending his first summer in Shakopee since 1985 by winning both ends of the co-feature races on Saturday. Then, he quietly slipped away without so much as a single word.
Actually, Martin slipped quietly back into town on Saturday after riding at Hoosier Park Friday, where he has four mounts on today’s card.
First, Martin rode Hunter’s Tiger Paw, a 3-5 choice, to victory in the $60,000 Minnesota Oaks on Saturday.
Then, as if to prove that odds don’t mean a thing when he’s on a horse’s back, Martin rode Tsar Tops Dancer to an upset victory at 25-1 in the $60,000 Minnesota Derby.
Martin avoided all but a couple of quick two or three-sentence interviews after races during the entire time he was at Canterbury Park.
His riding spoke volumes, though.
Nobody finishes on a horse any stronger than Martin.
Martin didn’t have a mount in the final stake on the card, the $28,000 North Central Quarter Horse Racing Assn. Futurity or he might have won that race, too. He left that one for Ry Eilkeberry, who drove Seis It Fast to an impressive but narrow victory over Chicks Gold Medal
Martin took the very talented Hunter’s Tiger Paw, trained by Cory Jensen, to an impressive 1 ½ length victory over Sasha’s Fierce as the odds-on favorite, in 1:42 and 4/5, to win the girls’ end of the feature events, the Oaks. Hunter’s Tiger Paw won that race gate to wire.
Martin came right back and rode longshot Tsar Tops Dancer to a driving 1 ¼ length victory over 2-5 favorite Bet Your Boots, who had a nose on Our Family Affair. The boys were a full second slower than the girls with a winning time of 1:43 and 3/5.
“Cory does such a great job with this horse,” said Joel Zamzow, the owner of Hunter’s Tiger Paw with his wife, Kris., shortly after the filly won her fourth straight race.
Hunter’s Tiger Paw will head now to Woodbine in Canada, where she won two of her previous three races. “We plan to bring her back here then for her four-year-old season,” said Zamzow, who spent Friday night in the barn with the winning filly, hoping to keep her calm. It apparently worked quite well. Then again, the Zamzows have been hands on with the filly since birth. Theyo bred and the filly and daughter Hunter, 9, named the horse as a suckling. “Look, ” she said, “it has tiger’s paws.”
Saturday, the filly roared like a Tiger from start to finish.
Meanwhile, the owners of Tsar Tops Dancer arrived at Canterbury Park not expecting to do any better than third or fourth and were delighted they had bet on their horse nonetheless.
“Now I wish I had bet more,” said Tim Becker, who owns the horse with partners Steve Adams and Keith Westrup.
Westrup actually raised Tsar Tops Dancer from a baby and brought the other two fellows in as partners.
Tsar Tops Dancer finished fourth in the Victor S. Myers Stakes at Canterbury on July 17, 8 ½ lengths behind the winner, Bet your Boots, who was trying to add to a two-race winning streak.
Saturday, however, there was a new element to the race. It was the first time the first three finishers had gone around two turns.
“To finish fourth the last race and then win a race like this…all I can say is ‘wow,’ ” said Becker.
Eilkeberry got his horse to a ever so narrow victory in the quarter horse stake, urging Seis It Fast to the wire a hair’s breadth in front of Chicks Gold Medal, in :18.20.
The winner is owned by Bob and Julie Peterson and trained by Ed Ross Hardy.
SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE FINISHES THIRD
The sentimental favorite in race four on Saturday was Northbound Beauty, a three-year filly and the last foal from Northbound Pride, a member of Canterbury Park’s Hall of Fame.
A week ago Saturday, Northbound Pride was found dead, the victim of a storm-related accident the previous night. She and other mares were apparently spooked by thunder and began running. Northbound Pride ran headlong into a tree in the dark.
Ridden by Seth Martinez and trained by Troy Bethke, Northbound Beauty was sent off at 3-1 and finished third, behind 5-1 outsider Half Moon Lady and 4-5 favorite Citizens Issue.
Northbound Pride, nicknamed Pootie by her groom, Sherry Nolan, was buried where she lived, Shamrock Valley Farm, near Stillwater.