Saturday is ‘Belmont Stakes Block Party’ with four local stakes races
Canterbury Park begins racing four days each week, Thursday through Sunday, when horse racing resumes tonight with the popular “Buck Night” promotion that offers $1 admission and other $1, $2 and $3 food and beverage specials. Post time on Thursdays and Fridays will be 6:30 p.m. with weekend racing beginning at 12:45 p.m. The exception is this Saturday when racing begins at 1:45 and will include a simulcast of the 149th running of The Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the thoroughbred Triple Crown, at 5:37.
Thursday’s 10-race card is highlighted by the ninth race, an allowance optional claiming route that includes many accomplished runners, with six in the seven-horse field having six-figure earnings.
Minnesota-bred Hold for More needs a win tonight to become the all-time leading money earner at Canterbury Park and/or Downs. The 5-year-old drew the rail and will be ridden by Orlando Mojica. Hall of Famer Crocrock holds the record with $340,452. Hold for More is less than $17,000 away. Dale Schenian is the owner of record of both Crocrock and Hold for More.
Diamond Joe, a legend in Nebraska, will be ridden by Dean Butler for trainer Chuck Turco. The 8-year-old has won 24 of 55 starts and has earned $505,442 racing all over the Midwest.
Aces High and Conquest Bigluck E are the favorites on the morning line at 5 to 2 and 2 to 1 respectively.
Live racing action Saturday features three $50,000 thoroughbred stakes, the Dark Star Cup, the Minnesota Turf, and the Minnesota Turf Distaff, as well as the $32,750 Gopher State Derby for quarter horses. Off-the-track activities, all part of the ‘Belmont Stakes Block Party’, include live music provided by GB Leighton, a medallion hunt, a hat contest, and food trucks. Pony rides, a petting zoo, and face painters for children will also be available from 1:30 to 5:00. General admission is $9 for adults. Children 17 and younger are admitted free and parking is free.
$50,000 Dark Star Cup
A field of seven headed by graded stakes winner Rated R Superstar will compete in the 6 1/2 furlong Dark Star Cup, the sixth race on the 10-race program. Top jockey Dean Butler has the mount for trainer Ken McPeek. The leading money earner in the field is Wings Locked Up, trained by Clinton Stuart. Orlando Mojica has the call on the 5-year-old who has earned $366,966 in purses.
$50,000 Minnesota Turf Distaff
Trainer Mac Robertson has four of the 10 Minnesota-bred fillies and mares entered in the 7 1/2 furlong Minnesota Turf Distaff. Honey’s Sox Appeal, owned by Robert Lindgren of Prior Lake, Minn., has finished in the top three in all nine career starts including her May 20 victory in the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes. She will be making her first start on the turf Saturday. Alex Canchari will ride.
$50,000 Minnesota Turf
Robertson also has two horses entered in the Minnesota Turf including the accomplished A P Is Loose, winner of five of 12 career turf starts. Butler will ride the multiple stakes winner owned and bred by Joel Zamzow of Duluth, Minn.
$32,750 Gopher State Derby
Trainer Jason Olmstead qualified four 3-year-olds to the Gopher State Derby including the fastest qualifier in the trials held May 27 One Famous Sign, who will be ridden Saturday by Larren Delorme. The Gopher Stake Derby will be the first race of the day.
Sunday’s 12-race marathon includes six quarter horse trials for the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity. A total of 53 two-year-olds will compete for 10 spots in the July 2 final. The final half of the card will be feature thoroughbreds.