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View From the VOX……Can You Believe This?

The Lady Canterbury is my favorite race at Canterbury Park, and this year’s rendition came up good.

The Lady C, Northbound Pride Oaks, Mystic Lake Mile, Mystic Lake Derby and Honor the Hero are the marquee events for today’s Canterbury Park Turf Festival. Racing commences at 4:30 pm, and tickets can be secured here at the website.

It’s easy to “honor the hero” when reminiscing about the Lady Canterbury. K Z Bay’s the name, and upsetting the 1997 cast at 32-to-1 is the game. Eliminating the horses I have owned K Z Bay is my all-time favorite CBY horse.

At 17 “hands” she was as beautiful a horse as you’d ever see. The “behemoth mare” looked like a colt, and was super muscular. She may have intimidated foes into defeat before her races started due to her imposing physique.

She was owned and trained by the late Bob Ryno of tiny Wood, S. D. Ryno I don’t think ever had a string of horses that was greater than two, but when you own K Z Bay you really just needed one.

That’s part of what makes the Canadian-bred mare’s legend so compelling – it shows even a farmer from Nowhere, South Dakota can realize dreams and win a signature race. K Z Bay was everything to Bob Ryno, and she absolutely became a fan favorite.

She dominated the 1997 Lady Canterbury and was ridden to perfection by Paul Nolan. She finished her career 8-for-17 at Canterbury, and the daughter of Charlie Barley and Golden Seal would race until 1998.

KZ Bay, as we say around these parts, was a “Canterbury Classic.”


Maybe the one Firstmate, 12-to-1 on the morning line, can be the 2020 version of K Z Bay? She’s owned by Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie, horse owners for decades who never have won the Lady Canterbury. Too, a Minnesota-bred never has won this marquee race.

Firstmate, a Minnesotan, just won the $50k Minnesota Turf Distaff under a wonderful ride by new CBY rider Roimes Chirinos.

Interestingly, Chirinos jumps off Firstmate to guide Beach Flower, the defending champ. She’s 8-to-1 on the morning line and is trained by Mac Robertson, the most dominating trainer in the history of this track.

The morning-line favorite is Weekend Envelope, a filly shipping in from Churchill Downs with earnings of $220,858.