Horses, grooms, trainers and jockeys continue to arrive in Shakopee for the start of the 54-day Canterbury Park season on May 27. The process of moving from one track to another is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle requiring multiple trailers and trips, paperwork and phone calls. It eventually gets done, just rarely as planned.
The main track opened Monday for training and workouts . The reconfigured training track is nearing completion and likely to open the first week of June.
Jockey agent Jodie Sinclair was one of the first to arrive. He will be representing three riders including Luis Valenzuela who pilots both thoroughbreds and quarter horses. He finished 11th in the
thoroughbred standings and third in quarter horse at the recently concluded Turf Paradise meet. Sinclair will also handle business for two new faces. Carlos Ulloa, who rides primarily at Hawthorne and won a race Thursday and again today for Joel Berndt and owner Bob Lothenbach, and apprentice rider Derbe Glass.
Sinclair figures there will be plenty of competition, ticking off a list of jockeys including Zeke Lara, Karlo Lopez, Jermaine Brigmohan, Alonzo Quinonez, Constantino Roman, Kelsi Harr, Lindey Wade, Erica Murray and last year’s top rider Harry Hernandez.
Nominations Closed For Opening Night Stakes
Nominations closed last night for the 10,000 Lakes Stakes and the Lady Slipper Stakes, both to be run opening night and each offering a $50,000 purse at a distance of six furlongs on the main track. The nom lists are a who’s who of Minnesota racing.
Thirteen names are on the 10,000 Lakes list including Hot Shot Kid, winner of this stake in 2019 and 2020. Thealligatorhunter dead heated in the 10,000 Lakes last year and is again nominated following a winter in Florida where he sprinted on both turf and dirt. Love the Nest, winner of two races from three starts at Canterbury last summer but unraced since October, recorded a workout at Hawthorne this morning and is nominated. His lone local loss in ’22 came to ultra-quick Doctor Oscar, another nominee. The 4-year-old faced extremely tough competition all winter at Tampa Bay Downs and Oaklawn.
The 18 Lady Slipper potentials are also impressive. Clickbait won this stake the past two seasons and Ready to Runaway in 2020. Both have been nominated by trainer Mac Robertson along with Brewhouse, Cupids Crush, a layoff winner at Oaklawn, Minnesota Oaks winner It’s Her Time, Scent of Success and Thunders Rocknroll.
Lover Girl, now three, won the Northern Lights Debutante for owners Gary and Brenda Bergsrud and trainer Matt Williams. She is yet to race in 2023 and may be aimed at races restricted to 3-year-olds.
Charlie’s Penny, who won the Minnesota Distaff Sprint last fall in a gallop, is nominated. She has been working at Hunter Farm Training Center in Ocala, Florida.
Entries for opening night, including these two stakes, will be taken May 20.