SHAKOPEE, MN – A pair of scratches left 4/5 Ball and Chain as the possible loan speed in the $41,800 Hoist Her Flag Stakes at Canterbury Park Sunday and that necessitated a change of strategy on the part of second choice, Ciaran’s Prize.
“We thought with the two scratches that the speed could be dangerous so we laid a little closer than we usually do,” said winning trainer Joel Berndt.
Ball and Chain did break quickly and seized the early lead but could not shake loose, under pressure from Tetrad through the first half of the six furlong sprint.
By the top of the lane, however, Ciaran’s Prize ($7.80) had a head in front and would not relinquish that lead, going on to win by a half length over 33-1 Discreetly Grand ($20.20) while Ball and Chain ($2.10) was clear for third. Ciaran’s Prize stopped the timer at 1:10.05.
“I know that the three horse [Ball and Chain] was the one to beat and the speed,” said winning jockey Orlando Mojica. “I believed in my horse; that all I had to do was get him in a good position and she could win the race.”
“She really has an affinity for the racetrack,” said Berndt, “so we took a chance sprinting her and it paid off.”