SHAKOPEE, MN – While last weekend’s Minnesota Festival of Racing was the biggest day of the season for Minnesota racing, Saturday evening brings the biggest race of the year: the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby at a flat mile over the turf for 3-year olds.
It’s hard to figure the Derby as being anything but a two horse race – but then the races aren’t run on paper.
One Mean Man comes in a Graded Stakes winner having captured the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington in early July. He followed that up with a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes on Million Day, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths.
Since a brief freshener in April/May, Bernie Flint has been able to take One Mean Man to a higher level and he’ll be coming late to try and take the money in Canterbury’s richest race of the season.
With Way Striking and recently claimed Bushrod in the field, there should be some pace up front. One Mean Man, though, will have some competition trying to get first run at the leaders and that will come from someone who knows him very well.
Robby Albarado, who has been aboard to take One Mean Man to new heights, has opted instead to make the trip to ride the Mark Casse trained Whatawonderflworld. Whatawonderflworld has been off since a solid second place finish in the Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park on March 12 but has been training like a monster in New York. He has reeled off three consecutive bullet works at Belmont over the past month and owns a pair of wins over the turf, though both came in New York at two. His two tries over the synthetic have worked out just fine as well, with a win and a second. His only poor effort has been over the dirt and with the forecast calling for clear weather through most of the day Saturday, an off the turf event is unlikely.
Should everyone sit close to the expected early pace, the Ramsey’s Regal Kitten could be an upsetter. He’s been off since February and, while working well, hasn’t been as impressive in the mornings as Whatawonderflworld. However, trainer Joe Sharp is 22% off the layoff, so if anyone knows how to get one ready, it is him. Regal Kitten should settle pretty far off the pace and with Dean Butler aboard, one of the best at timing a race in his head, he could have a real chance at the end if the early pace proves to be problematical for the favorites.
Joel Berndt’s Hay Dakota is three for three in the exacta at Canterbury while Pinnacle Peak and Epic Journey will make their first try over the turf and local leading owners Al & Bill Ulwelling’s Remembermis will look to break his maiden in the Derby.
The card will commence at 6 PM with a trio of supporting stakes as well as finals of the tremendously exciting Indian Horse Relay. The evening is the culmination of a weekend celebrating the partnership between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Canterbury Park and includes an Indian Market in the Canterbury Events Center during racing hours.