SHAKOPEE, MN – A pair of $75,000 turf mile stakes headline the card at Canterbury Park on Saturday and Mike Maker ships in a pair of Ken and Sarah Ramsey horses to contest the Minnesota HBPA Distaff and Brooks Fields Stakes against a tough twosome from trainer Mac Robertson.
In the Distaff, Awesome Flower is making her first trip back to Minnesota since taking the $100,000 Lady Canterbury. Thus far this season she’s taken the Wintergreen at Turfway and the Wayward Lass at Tampa in addition to a $25,000 optional at Gulfstream. Awesome Flower has hit the board in each of her five races this season.
Stoupinator made her seasonal debut at Canterbury taking a $36,000 allowance over the turf. The five-year old mare hadn’t won since taking the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury at three. After coming tantalizingly close in Louisiana, trainer Mac Robertson gave her a month away and then trained her right up to her off the pace victory last out. In the victory she set her lifetime Beyer speed figure mark (89) and appears to be very sharp.
Both ladies are going to need some pace to run at but the only pace in the race looks to be the Tom Amoss trained Kiss to Remember which could make her very dangerous in this spot. If Leandro Goncalves can control the pace with the Maggie Moss owned mare she could take the field gate to wire.
El Seventyseven, fresh off his victory in the 5 furlong Honor the Hero Stakes on Memorial Day, looks to stretch out in the Brooks Fields. It’s been a while, but the Robertson trainee has run twice around a mile and was able to pull off one win. This may be at the far end of his range but his versatility makes him dangerous however the race develops.
The Maker horse, Ramsey homebred Honor the Kitten, is 3 for 2015 with a pair of victories at Gulfstream and a last out win in a Churchill first level allowance, all over the turf and at 7 1/2 furlongs and a mile. Honor the Kitten will be coming from far off it giving El Seventyseven first run at the leaders should he not be on top himself.
AZ Ridge is another coming in on a winning streak having won three of four this year at Turf Paradise including back to back stakes wins in the Wildcat and Hasta La Vista. She can stay close to the lead or run from just off it and should keep some pressure on El Seventyseven.