SHAKOPEE, MN – As the summer heat settles over Shakopee this weekend, Canterbury Park is bringing back state bred stakes over the grass. Both $50,000 stakes, male and female, have drawn 10 entries, will go 7 ½ furlongs and are sandwiched around the $50,000 Dark Star Cup.
The Dark Star will be run at 6 ½ furlongs over the main track and features Ken McPeek trained Graded Stakes winner Rated R Superstar. The 2016 Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes winner ships into the race off a flat performance in the Grade 3 Hanshin over the artificial at Arlington. Prior to the effort over the poly, the 4-year old gelding had a pair of 3rd place finishes at Keeneland and the City of Laurel Stakes at Laurel Park. He should be looking to close and will need some pace to run at late.
Wings Locked Up, the 5/2 morning line favorite, comes in off a hard fought, front running win in the Skinner Stakes at Prairie Meadows after giving in late to Shrewd Move in the Paul Bunyan in his local season debut. Wings Locked Up looks to want the front and if Saturdaynitelites or Shrewd Move doesn’t go with him, he will be tough to beat.
Shrewd Move, the Bunyan Champ, just couldn’t keep up with Wings Locked Up in the Skinner and was able to beat him by coming off the pace in the Bunyan when Wings Locked Up was pressured the entire trip. While he doesn’t seem like he can keep up with the favorite on the front end, if no one else goes it will be tough to beat him from behind as well.
Joel Zamzow will be looking to sweep the Minnesota stakes with a pair of homebreds. First Hunter will lead the way in the Distaff Turf. The lightly race 4-year old is two of six over the Canterbury turf, two of four versus state breds. She’ll need to chase down speedy morning line favorite Honey’s Sox Appeal.
Honey’s Sox Appeal has been as consistent as they come, hitting the board in all nine of her career starts, winning five including a pair of stakes. This will be her first time over the turf course and if she takes to it, she’ll be tough as always.
A sneaky filly is Some Say So. While she hasn’t won over the turf at Canterbury, she has placed in five of six starts including her last at this distance against open company where she earned a field best last race Beyer of 74, defeating First Hunter by a length in the process. Though she came from far out of it in that race, she can run closer to pace as well, giving jockey Orlando Mojica flexibility as the race unfolds.
The Zamzow homebred that is the morning line favorite is the Minnesota Turf is AP is Loose. The champion Minnesota bred older horse has speed and the ability to hold it over distance. He’s currently carrying a three race winning streak on grass versus state bred company having last lost that type of race on August 31, 2014. He owns the most consistent turf Beyers in the field and has hit the board in 11 of 12 starts on the Canterbury lawn, five of them wins.
Fan favorite and former divisional champion Bourbon County takes to the turf for the fourth time in his career. He was second in the 2015 Blair’s Cove behind AP is Loose, faltered in an open allowance and then had a rough go of it in last year’s Blair’s Cove. Bourbon County has eight wins in 19 career starts with the last tally coming in the 2016 season opener, the 10,000 Lakes Stakes.
Trainer Gary Scherer sends out a pair of first time turf starters. Allowance winning, lightly raced Richard Thomas was impressive in both allowance starts this season, just missing in his seasonal bow and winning his prep for the Turf. Cupid’s Delight, another allowance winning gelding, opened 2017 with a 4th place finish in the 10,000 Lakes over the dirt.
Belmont Day will kick off with the $32,750 Gopher State Derby for Quarter Horses. Trainer Jason Olmstead qualified four 3-year-olds to the Derby including the fastest qualifier in the trials held May 27, One Famous Sign, who drew post 10.
Several who notched Futurity wins from last season also qualified for the final including Fasta Than Hasta, Fast N Famous Jeans and Heza Prospect.
First post is at 1:50 PM.