SHAKOPEE, MN – The six furlong, $60,000 Vic Myers and Frances Genter Stakes, traditional preps for the Minnesota Derby and Oaks, respectively, will take center stage on the Fourth of July at Canterbury Park.
Trainer Francisco Bravo will have a triple threat in the Myers with Northern Lights Futurity trifecta of Smooth Chiraz, Cupid’s Delight and Pensador.
Smooth Chiraz, the Northern Lights champion, opened the season in the overnight Paul Bunyan Stakes, splitting the field of seven. In his first try against older foes, he was soundly defeated by Cupids Delight but bounced back last out with a stalking win in a $35,000 optional.
Cupid’s Delight just couldn’t catch his stablemate in the Northern Lights, is undefeated as a 3-year old having beaten his elders twice in an allowance and optional claiming races. While he took his last wire to wire, he has been able to track in the past which gives jockey Alex Canchari some flexibility as the race unfolds.
The last horse in the Bravo trio, Pensador, has taken on older in all three starts this season, finally ending up on top in his last, romping by 5 1/2 lengths in a state bred allowance.
The speedy Bar Fight will have a say in how the race unfolds with the speed to ensure a solid early pace.
In the Genter, undefeated Dazzlingsweetheart is the morning line 5/2 favorite beating older in both in her first two of the season in very professional fashion. Trained by Joe Sharp and ridden by Chris Rosier, Dazzlingsweetheart will break from the rail.
Another undefeated filly, Northern Lights Debutante winner, La Petite Cheri, will have Dean Butler aboard. Though closer to the pace than in her two-year old starts, La Petite Cheri debuted impressively, closely stalking a group of solid older fillies and mares before prevailing by half a length.
Honey Sox Appeal has won three of four in her career, only finishing second to La Petite Cheri in last year’s Northern Lights Debutante. Another that will want to come from a bit off the pace, the lane looks to be crowded late.
A potential spoiler could be the speedy Pecos. As a 2-year old, Pecos ripped off three consecutive wins to start her career, including a pair of stakes wins at Assiniboia Downs. Fourth in the Northern Lights, she made her 3-year old debut at Fonner Park taking the Pepsi Stakes before faltering under some tough trips in Texas and Canada. She’s back at Canterbury and looks like she could be the only speed in the race. If Geovanni Franco can keep Zan Creek at bay early and save some gas in the tank, it is not inconceivable that he could steal this on the front end.
First post at Canterbury Park is 12:45 and features free Hormel hot dogs for all fans.