SHAKOPEE, MN – The first Minnesota bred stakes races of the season are up at Canterbury Park on Saturday and a familiar cast of characters will take center stage in each. Both stakes are going six furlongs over the dirt and are worth $50,000 each.
The 10,000 Lakes will be run as the third race on the Preakness Day card and brings together a field of six including two time defending champ Bourbon County, Minnesota Sprint Champion Hold for More, Blairs Cove champ AP is Loose and Vic Myers winner Smooth Chiraz.
Though speedy, AP is Loose appears to utilize this race as a springboard to longer races later in the year where he is tough – especially on the turf – while Let Da Cowboy Rock has not been successful against this type. That still leaves four that have a solid chance at taking the race.
From the inside, Hold for More took a Will Rogers allowance to start of his 2017 campaign but was shellacked in an open stake at Canterbury in his local bow. Moving back into state bred company could be the prescription for this five year old. Orlando Mojica gets the ride as Dean Butler moves to the other Francisco Bravo trainee, Smooth Chiraz.
Smooth Chiraz made his local debut a laugher, setting the pace early and never looking back, sailing to a seven length win in a state bred $50,000 optional claimer. This was a sharp prep for this one.
Cupid’s Delight was two for three at Canterbury last season taking a state bred allowance and a state bred $35,000 optional claimer before finishing second to Smooth Chiraz in the Vic Myers Stakes. After a few months and two off the board starts for trainer Ian Wilks in Kentucky, Cupid’s Delight shifted to the Gary Scherer barn and the 10,000 Lakes will be his 2017 debut.
On the outside, though only in post six, is Bourbon County with Alex Canchari aboard. Bourbon County, who moved to the Mac Robertson barn in the off-season, has also opted to train up to the race which he did to great effect last year prior to his win.
Hold for More looks the be the most versatile of the entries while it is likely that AP is Loose, Cupid’s Delight and Smooth Chiraz should be up close early. The best trip looks like it should be worked out by morning line favorite Bourbon County. He should be coming on late and his post gives Canchari the opportunity to size up what’s going in to his inside and adjust accordingly.
In the Lady Slipper, the assembled six pack also have accomplished resumes with the Minnesota Distaff champion (Sioux Appeal), Minnesota Distaff Sprint champion (Honey’s Sox Appeal) and last year’s runner up and 2017 Miranda Diane Stakes champion (Rockin the Bleu’s) headlining the field.
Rockin the Bleu’s, Sioux Appeal and Dakota Peach Pie have all made starts prior to this race with Rockin the Bleu’s winning the Miranda Diane at Will Rogers to start the season, notching a field high 80 Beyer in the process. She’ll want to be on or near the lead and she’ll have company from the Champion Minnesota bred 3-year old filly Honey’s Sox Appeal. Honey’s Sox Appeal bested her older rival in the Minnesota Distaff Sprint on Festival of Champions Day last season. In her eight career starts, she has never failed to hit the board.
Should the two leaders falter, Sioux Appeal and Thunder and Honey both have the ability to come at the leaders late.
Two-year old champion La Petite Cheri, though a long shot, has trainer Tony Rengdorf in her corner. Rengstorf has started the meet red hot, tied atop the leader board with five wins heading into this weekend, including a 50-1 long shot last weekend for the same connections.
10,000 Lakes: Bourbon County
Lady Slipper: Rockin the Bleus