SHAKOPEE, MN – Corey Lanerie had a riding double at Canterbury Park this weekend and it just so happened to be in a pair of $100,000 turf stakes races.
“Worth the trip?” he was asked by someone while weighing in after his half a nose win aboard Pumpkin Rumble in the Mystic Lake Mile.
“Oh yeah,” he said, a huge grin spreading across his face.
He started his day on Kitty Wine in the Lady Canterbury Stakes, run at a mile over the turf course.
“I didn’t see that there was a whole lot of pace in the race,” Lanerie said after the race. “In my head I told myself to ride her like she was she best horse in the race.”
Lanerie parked favored Kitty Wine ($4.80) just off the lead of early pace setter Parc Monceau through the first three quarters and then let her loose in the stretch. The six year old mare, trained by Eddie Kenneally, surged to the lead and easily held off Notte D’Oro to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
In the Mystic Lake Mile, Lanerie was aboard Al & Bill Ulwelling’s Pumpkin Rumble and, with favored Az Ridge, provided the most thrilling finish at Canterbury this season.
El Seventyseven set the pace through the first half of the race and favored Az Ridge was comfortable under Geovanni Franco sitting just off the pace, albeit about three paths wide. As the field hit the stretch, Az Ridge moved to the lead and looked like he was going to draw away, but Pumkin Rumble was coming hard on his inside. Both horses hit the wire together and Lanerie was unsure who had won the race.
“I asked the jock [Franco], ‘did I get you?'”, Lanerie said, “and he said ‘I don’t think so’.”
But he did. While the official chart called it a nose, that is only because there is no designation for half a nostril.
Trained by Gary Scherer, Pumpkin Rumble went to post at odds of 9-1, but his subsequent victory didn’t completely surprise his trainer.
“I told Corey that if he could refind his 3-year old form he had a shot,” Scherer said. “He went up to New York [as a 3-year old] and ran against the likes of Ring Weekend in a $500,000 stake (Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes). He nearly took the lead into the stretch and only got beat 2 lengths.
“We brought him down to the Fairgrounds last year and just didn’t give him enough time off. He was tired,” Scherer continued. “I knew he had the talent, I just wasn’t sure if he was all the way back yet; if he was fit enough for a race like this. It was a surprise because of the fitness level but the talent is there with this horse. Once he’s involved in a race, he’ll run all day. When he’s feeling good, he’ll battle you. ”
Pumpkin Rumble was certainly feeling good on Saturday.
MYSTIC LAKE MILE (1:35.89 on the turf)
Pumpkin Rumble 21.40 6.60 6.00
Az Ridge 4.00 3.20
Red Zeus 7.80
LADY CANTERBURY (1:36.97 on the turf)
Kitty Wine 4.80 2.80 2.40
Notte D’Oro 3.40 2.60
Julie Darlin’ 6.80