SHAKOPEE, MN – Ten fillies of mares will head to the post this afternoon for the Hoist Her Flag stakes at Canterbury Park on Fillies Race for Hope Day. The six furlong dash features a healthy dose of shippers from Chicago, Iowa and even Canada with the most dangerous trio of the ten, Thoughtless, Puntsville and Diva’s Rule all lined up together in the center of the starting gate.
Thoughtless, off exactly a year for, alternately, Hugh and Mac Robertson, has stormed back to the races in style in 2017. After a lackluster debut over the Fairgrounds turf, she enjoyed a triumphant return to Canterbury main track taking the Etoile du Nord. She followed that up with a victory in the Prairie Rose at Prairie Meadows before faltering in the Saylorville.
Puntsville, who has spent most of the last two years on the poly or turf, will be back on the dirt since a tough effort over a muddy Churchill Downs surface in the Open Mind. In 2015 the gray mare reeled off three successive wins at Hawthorne on the dirt including the Pershing Handicap. She will be shipping in for trainer Michele Boyce and will bring along regular rider Victor Santiago.
Diva’s Rule, out of the Francisco Bravo barn, calls Canterbury Park home and has only finished off the board once in seven starts. She’s won two in a row over the Shakopee oval in gate to wire fashion and steps back into stakes company where she has had some difficulty in the past.
Both Puntsville and Diva’s Rule enjoy the front end and, breaking side by side, could create some pace early. They are, of course, not the only speed in the race with Malibu Princess and Assiniboia stakes winner Stevie Mac both adding to the pace mix.
Thoughtless will not be the only horse trying to stalk that early pace but she does appear to be the class of those that will be trying to stay in touch with the speedsters and get first run on the them in the lane.
Though rain is expected, all three contenders have handled it well, though Thoughtless is the only of the three without a victory despite having hit the board in two of three attempts.
In its 7th year, Fillies Race for Hope has raised over $400,000 in support of the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation. There will be several different fund raising activities including a raffle, a salute to survivor’s and activities for kids. Sunday will be the last day of the Street Art Festival on the Canterbury grounds as well.
Post time Sunday is 12:45 PM with the Hoist Her Flag scheduled for race 7.