SHAKOPEE, MN – A field of seven 3-year olds will compete for Canterbury Park’s richest prize of the season on Saturday, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby to be run at a mile over the turf. The Derby will be part of a weekend long celebration of the 3-year old partnership between Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners of Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos in neighboring Prior Lake, MN.
The slight morning line favorite is Barbados. The Speightstown colt, winner of the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes in January, has yet to post a win in two starts since coming back from surgery on a non-displaced fracture in his left knee. Both performances, however, were solid, finishing second in the Grade 3 Carry Back at Gulfstream and third in the Grade 2 Amsterdam last out at Saratoga. This will be his first try over the turf since prior to breaking his maiden as a 2-year old as well as his first try around two turns.
On the outside of the favorite in post position three is Syntax. Trained by Bill Mott, Syntax has won two of three since breaking his maiden at Delaware Park including the mile and an eighth Grade 3 Kent Stakes last out under a well-timed ride by Junior Alvarado. Chris DeCarlo comes in to ride for the Mystic Lake and should have plenty of pace to run at late.
On the rail, Flashy Jewel, the Manitoba Derby winner, will be shooting for a fourth win in a row for red hot trainer Clay Brinson. Flashy Jewel will be trying the turf for the first time and does his best running near the lead. He wired the field in the Manitoba Derby but will likely have some company on the outside in the Mystic Lake. Canterbury’s leading rider, Leandro Goncalves, takes the reins.
Trainer Mike Dini’s Gallery took the short Manila Stakes field wire to wire at Belmont at this distance but hard a hard time keeping up in Saratoga’s Quick Call when returned to sprinting.
Nun the Less, third place finisher in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington in his last start, tried to take that field from the front but faltered late at the mile and an eighth distance and the cut back to a mile should suit him.
Canterbury’s leading trainer, Robertino Diodoro, is sending out Space Mine. Winner of three of four in dirt sprints, Space Mine will try the turf for the first time as well as two turns. He should show some speed from the far outside post and should ensure solid fractions.
Finally, another with solid early speed, Shrewd Move, will break from the center of the gate under Giovanni Franco. These two teamed up at Arlington Park on Million Day to finish second to Recount in the Bruce D Memorial over the synthetic surface at a mile. In the Bruce D, Shrewd Move led early, faltered into the lane but came back steadily in a very game effort to only miss by a ¼ length.
With several in here looking to get position early and the rail likely to be at 0, the race looks to set up nicely for Mott to take his second Mystic Lake in a as many years.
While the culminating event of the weekend is the Mystic Lake Derby, other festivities, beginning Thursday, Aug. 27, are planned to celebrate the partnership between Canterbury Park and SMSC. Indian Horse Relay, a daring display of bareback racing showcasing 14 teams representing various American Indian nations competing for $50,000 in prize money, will be featured on Thursday and Friday with two trial heats each night. The top eight teams from those trials advance to the Canterbury Park Indian Relay Championship Saturday.
SMSC Youth Royalty will perform traditional dance styles Saturday. Also that day will be a traditional arrow throwing competition.
The Indian Market, with more than 30 vendors offering unique Native American arts and crafts, will be open daily during the races.
Post time Thursday and Friday is 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mystic Lake Derby Day, has a special 4:00 p.m. first post.