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News and Notes

By Jim Wells

The Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Assn. will stage its annual awards brunch as a prelude to the running of the feature event on Saturday’s race card, the $50,000 HBPA Mile for fillies and mares three years of age and older.

The annual turf race has attracted a full field of 12, including two locally stabled horses.

“And there were four more that were excluded,” said HBPA president Tom Metzen.

The awards brunch will precede the card at Longshots in the Grandstand, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The brunch is free to all horsemen and their employees.

Awards will be presented to SEJ Stable (Curt Johnson) as the leading owner of 2009, to Mac Robertson as the leading trainer, Derek Bell as the top rider and Eagle Storm as Horse of the Year.

Cort Holten will provide an update on legislative matters and Nat Wess will talk about the upcoming Claiming Crown, scheduled for July 25. Track president/CEO Randy Sampson will provide an update on matters pertaining to the track and horsemen.

In previous years, the HBPA has given away vouchers or hats to fans as a way of marking this occasion. This year, the horsemen’s group has sent out flyers and raffle cards to promote its biggest giveaway ever.

A drawing will be held after each race to determine the winners of 10 flat-screen television sets.
Metzen said he got the idea from a Hollywood Park promotion but altered it slightly for practical purposes.

“Hollywood Park gave away 52-inch sets,” he said, “but when you think about it not many people have homes that accommodate something that large.”

So, the sets being given away on Saturday include 38-inch screens. Metzen said the HBPA said out 13,000 flyers and raffle cards. “We’re hoping for a big turnout,” he said.

Mark Stancato spent early Wednesday afternoon handicapping the horses entered in Saturday’s HBPA Mile.

It’s a competitive race with a field of 12, competitive enough that Stancato’s morning-line favorite is a ship-in named Si Si Mon Amie, a career winner of $149,000 he has made 4-1.

Quiet Queen, with career earnings of $158,000, made $60,000 as last year’s winner of the $100,000 Lady Canterbury. She is shipping in from Arlington Park for the race and is 10-1. She will have the same rider she had in the Lady Canterbury _ Tracy Hebert.

Also at 10-1 is Will Carlson and Jerry Pint’s Couple Whiles, trained by Bernell Rhone with Dean Butler up and also Mast Thoroughbreds’ Nijinsky Ballet. Joining Couple Whiles, the leading money earner in the field at $271,600, from the Canterbury stables is Bob Ryan’s Fabulous Babe, who has won $91,192. She is trained by Mac Robertson and will be ridden by Scott Stevens.

Glen Hill Farms Positively Charming is a 6-1 morning line choice, and Mizzcan’tbewrong, winner of $186,000, is 5-1.

She just won in stakes company at Arlington Park and will be ridden by Paul Nolan.
Mike Grossman’s Slide On Bye, trained by Franciso Bravo, will make her Canterbury debut at 12-1. ,

“Tough race? Absolutely,” said Stancato. “There are several who could win.”

The field from the rail out:
1, Quiet Queen, Tracy Hebert; 2, Slide On Bye, Tommy Molina; 3, Nijinsky Ballet, Jose Ferrer; 4, Couple Whiles, Dean Butler; 5, Lindsey’s Wish, Kyle Kaenel; 6,Mizzcan’tbewrong, Paul Nolan; 7,Winters Bell, Dylan Williams; 8,Cape Cod Bay, Derek Bell; 9,Royal Highland, Ry Eikleberry; 10, Si Si Mon Amie, John McKee; 11, Positively Charming, Nik Goodwin; 12, Fabulous Babe, Scott Stevens.