By JIM WELLS
Dash of Paint wore the winning colors, Mizzcan’tbewrong got a big break and Sarah’s Son had too much run in Canterbury Park’s three stakes races on Saturday.
In the richest race on the card, Dash of Paint, with Ry Eikleberry up, held off a mad rush from previously unbeaten Trickham to win the $58,650 Northlands Futurity, a 350-yard dash for two-year-old quarter horses, in :17.97.
“I thought maybe he had gotten me,” said Eikleberry. “It’s hard to tell with a horse that far across the track.”
Trickham’s rider, Seth Martinez, thought his horse lost the race at the gate. “He jostled a little leaving the gate and didn’t quite get there,” he said.
Eilkeberry, replacing the injured Paul Nolan, won the very next race, too, the $35,000 Minnesota HBPA Mile (on the turf) with Mizzcan’tbewrong after Wine Diva, ridden by Eddie Martin, Jr., was moved from first to fourth place by the racing stewards for interference in the stretch run.
Winning trainer Gary Scherer, who handled Mizzcan’tbewrong for his brother, Richie, had a succinct statement about the win.
“We got lucky. We got a break,” he said.
Sarah’s Son, a five-year-old gelded son of Ogydoug (by Ogygian), was simply too much horse in the $50,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes.
With no place to go at the head of the lane, jockey Derek Bell simply let horses pass him and swung Sarah’s Son out wide. She had nearly 10 lengths to make up on the turn but was first at the wire, a length in front of Cubfanbudman.
“He really likes it outside,” said jubilant owner Jerry Myers.
“He’s an unbelievable horse,” said Bell. “I just know that all I have to do is push the button and he’ll rebreak. There isn’t a Minnesota-bred around who’ll beat that horse on the turf.”
A SCARY WEEK FOR CANTERBURY RIDERS
It was a tough week for jockeys based at Canterbury Park or who ride there frequently.
The dangers of race-riding were never more evident than in Friday night’s sixth race when a four-horse collision sent three riders to the hospital, one of them air-lifted there by helicopter.
It was the first time in Canterbury’s 25-year history that a helicopter has been used to transport an injured rider.
Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens, the jockey who was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital, was on the lead when his horse, Sombre, went down in front of the field midway through the turn. Two other horses stumbled over Sombre and fell, the third veered away from the incident, unseating his rider.
“I’ve seen riders killed but this almost looked worse because of the domino effect,” said trainer Bernell Rhone, whose son-in-law, Dean Butler, was unseated in the spill.
Butler walked away from the incident and rode in the next race. In addition to Stevens, Don Proctor and Paul Nolan were hospitalized.
Butler’s horse, Run Katster Run, and Nolan’s horse, Brook Ghazer, went down also in the incident. Proctor was unseated when his horse, Black Ruby, veered away from the spill.
Nolan and Proctor suffered back injuries. Nolan was released Saturday afternoon. Stevens suffered multiple broken ribs, punctured lungs and a back injury. Stevens’ horse, owned and trained by Miguel Silva, was euthanized.
In incidents elsewhere this week: Stormy Smith broke both collarbones in a spill at the Fair Meadows at Tulsa, and Tad Leggett suffered a broken neck at the same track.