SHAKOPEE, MN – There was a lot of confidence amongst betters that One Fine Dream was going to pick up a nice paycheck for working out in front of 11,000 fans in the $53,900 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes at Canterbury Park on an overcast Memorial Day afternoon.
That sense of confidence was backed up by over $40,000 of the $65,000 wagered in the win and place pools (there was no show wagering after scratches lowered the field to four) was bet to place on the 3-year old son of Woke Up Dreamin. While placing was never really in doubt, the win was battle to the wire.
One Fine Dream and fellow Iowan, No Holds Barred, broke alertly and slugged it out for the entire race.
“This was a tough one,” said Leroy Gessman of Umbrella Stables. “I wasn’t expecting anything less than a battle from No Holds Barred.”
In their previous encounters One Fine Dream has had the measure of No Holds Barred but most of those contests were routes while No Holds Barred best races were in sprints. The 6 1/2 furlong distance of the MTA looked to possibly present a problem for the prohibitive favorite.
“He always gives us a tough battle,” said Gessman. “In the [mile and a sixteenth] Iowa Breeders Derby, he was with us up until the last sixteenth so I was concerned about the shorter distance. He really isn’t a sprinter.”
No Holds Barred pushed One Fine Dream ($2.40) to a stakes record of 1:16.18 under Alex Canchari. The winner was trained by Kelly Von Hemel. No Holds Barred ($2.60) was a neck back in second with Pensador third.