Heliskier has been dominant in all four career starts, sparking conversation about how good he might be compared to other Minnesota-breds in recent history. The name that immediately is mentioned in comparison is Crocrock (pictured above).
While it would be premature to compare Heliskier at this point to the accomplishments of the great Crocrock, the path Heliskier has taken thus far is remarkably similar to that of Crocrock in 1999 and 2000. When comparing the measuring stick that many use in this sport, the Beyer Speed Figure, Heliskier is on a trajectory to be one of the best Minnesota-breds of all time.
First, Crocrock’s accomplishments: the son of North Prospect, bred and owned by Dale Schenian, won 16 of 42 starts and $359,977 in purses. Fourteen of his wins came at Canterbury Park where he is the all-time leading money earner at the Shakopee racetrack with $340,452 in earnings.
His stakes wins include the MTA Stallion Laddie, Victor Myers, MN Derby, the MN Sprint Championship four times and the 10,000 Lakes twice.
Crocrock began his career at two by winning the $27,000 MTA Stallion Laddie on Aug. 1, 1999 with a Beyer Speed Figure of 54. Heliskier was victorious in his 2-year-old debut, with a 55 Beyer on Aug. 13, 2011, in a state-bred maiden special weight.
Both made their next and final start of their 2-year-old seasons in the Northern Lights Futurity. Crocrock finished second with a 53 Beyer, Heliskier won by 10 lengths with a 71.
Crocrock, trained by Francisco Bravo, returned to the races May 21, 2000, winning a five and one-half furlong 3-year-0ld MN-bred N2L with a 55 Beyer fig. Heliskier faced older horses June 10 of this year in a six-furlong N3L and again won by double-digit lengths, earning a lofty 94 Beyer.
The logical race for a quality MN-bred 3-year-old in the spring is the Victor Myers Stakes at six furlongs, and the connections of both knew that was the race to win and both Crocrock and Heliskier delivered. Crocrock won by a nose with a 66 Beyer and Heliskier by four lengths with an 88.
What trainer Mac Robertson owner Marlene Colvin do next with Heliskier will all play out as the meet unfolds. Bravo sent Crocrock long after the Myers in a route rained off the turf. He finished second but went on the capture the Minnesota Derby at one mile and seventy yards, and finally the MN Sprint Championship at the end of the season.
Crocrock is a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame horse. He broke the 90 Beyer barrier four times in his career. He may be the last horse that, and Heliskier can garner the same attention if he continues to win, race fans made a special trip to the track to watch. Crocrock was must-see racing.
This blog was written by Canterbury Media Relations Manager Jeff Maday. Maday has filled multiple positions including Media Relations and Player Relations Manager since the track’s reopening in 1995.