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Two state-bred stakes featured Saturday at Canterbury Park

Doctor Oscar seeks repeat in 10,000 Lakes

The first two thoroughbred stakes races of Canterbury Park’s 54-day season will be held Saturday. The 38th running of the six-furlong Lady Slipper Stakes for fillies and mares is the fourth race on the eight-race card and the 32nd rendition of the 10,000 Lakes Stakes, also at six furlongs, is the fifth. Each has a $50,000 purse and is restricted to horses bred in Minnesota.

Thunders Rocknroll, owned and bred by Bob Lindgren of Prior Lake, Minn., is the 9 to 5 favorite in the Lady Slipper. The versatile 4-year-old filly won the Minnesota Oaks last year leading all the way around two turns but also has had success sprinting. She will be ridden by Eduardo Gallardo.

Cupids Crush

Cupids Crush, unraced since last October at Keeneland, is trained by Mac Robertson. She has a penchant for early speed and has never finished worse than third in seven main track races at Canterbury. Constantino Roman has the mount for owners Xtreme Racing Stables LLC. Robertson has won the Lady Slipper five times in the past 10 seasons.

Birdie Be Gone was claimed at Canterbury a year ago for $12,500. She since has won five of nine starts including an open company sprint victory at Canterbury May 25 with trainer Mike Biehler. This will be the 6-year-old’s 24th start and second in stakes company. Birdie Be Gone finished sixth in the Wilma Mankiller Stakes at Will Rogers Downs April 15.

“We are really excited for Birdie to run in the Lady Slipper,” managing partner of Pony Up Racing LLC Ted Grevelis said. “Mike [Biehler] has worked very hard with her and has really unlocked her potential. She’s only run one bad race since heading to Oklahoma in the Fall. We’re looking forward to seeing what she can do against a small but tough field of really nice state bred mares.” Guillermo Rodriguez will ride.

Biehler has raced at Canterbury for more than three decades and won 689 races yet a Lady Slipper victory has been elusive. The remainder of the Lady Slipper field includes Sunshine Forever, She’s My Warrior and Lover Girl.

Doctor Oscar, 4 to 5 on the morning line, drew the rail in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes, a race he won last year by 1 3/4 lengths over stablemate Thealligatorhunter who had dead-heated for the win in the 2022 version of the 10,000 Lakes. Tim Padilla trains both and co-owns Thealligatorhunter with Pete Mattson, sole owner of Doctor Oscar.

Doctor Oscar recently finished third in a $40,000 handicap at Prairie Meadows while Thealligatorhunter won a sprint allowance in the first race of the Canterbury season May 18. Alonzo Quinonez has the mount on Doctor Oscar while Roman rides Thealligatorhunter. Past performances suggest Doctor Oscar will be sent for the lead, especially from the rail position. “That’s what he does,” Padilla said.

The field also includes the speedy Sir Sterling, Xavey Dave, Bayou Benny and Runaway Ready who has been re- entered on Sunday’s card.

First post on Saturday is 5:10 p.m. central followed by a simulcast of The Belmont, the third leg of the Triple Crown.