NOTE: The Mystic Lake Derby will be ON the turf and the course is listed at YELDING. None of the contenders have been successful on an off turf course.
SHAKOPEE, MN – Minnesota connections abound in this evening’s running of the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby. At press time a decision had not yet been made on whether the one mile race for 3-year olds would continue to be contested on the turf or moved to the dirt course because of the weather. The two supporting stakes, the Brooks Fields and the Minnesota HBPA Distaff, both were moved off the turf but all efforts are being made to try and keep the feature race of the season on the turf course.
Lothenbach Stables, Barry & Joni Butzow, Carolyn Friedberg & Jeff Larson and Warren Bush – Canterbury regulars all – will be trying to keep the Mystic Lake Derby trophy right at home.
The two Lothenbach runners drew side by side for the Derby. Diamondmaze, winner of two of four at Canterbury this season, and Giant Payday, a last out allowance winner at Ellis Park, come in to the race with polar opposite runner styles. Diamondmaze will look to be near the pace early while Giant Payday should be coming late.
Morning line favorite Giant Payday (7/2) has tried stakes company before but all were the graded variety. Taking aim at the Mystic Lake could be just what he needs, especially after finishing just three lengths from all the money in the Grade 3 Spiral and Palm Beach Stakes.
The Butzow’s Line Judge, winner of the Careless Navigator here and the Jean Laffite at Delta at two, will be making his first attempt over the turf in the Mystic Lake.
Friedberg and Larson partnered on Red Corvette. Trained by Gary Scherer, who also has Jack Snipe’s in the race, broke his maiden on the turf at Fairgrounds but will need to step up to contend in here.
Bush will be looking to be the first owner to win the signature race here with a Minnesota bred horse. His Hot Shot Kid, ridden by Shakopee product Alex Canchari and trained by Mac Robertson, is coming in on a five race winning streak having not lost a race since before breaking his maiden at Oaklawn in April. The speedy Hot Shot Kid drew post eleven and may have a tough time getting position early from that far outside for his first turf attempt.
The locals are, of course, not alone in the Derby. Another speedster, Siem Riep, will be breaking from the rail and may be in a position to wire the field.
My Bariley, a last out allowance winner at Indiana, ran a solid race from way off the pace to finish third in the American Derby at Arlington two back.