SHAKOPEE, MN – A pair of closely matched stakes headline the Father’s Day card at Canterbury on Sunday. Turf filly milers and older male sprinters will cut loose in the eighth and ninth races while the day will kick off with a pair of 2-year old quarter horse trials for horses that remain eligible to the Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Futurity.
A field of nine 3-year old fillies go postward in the one mile, $75,000 Northbound Pride Oaks over the turf.
The field is a closely matched one with the morning line favorite 3-1 Mizz Money. The Bernard Flint trainee is coming off of a 2nd place finish in the $75,000 Indiana Star Stakes at Indiana Downs. She had lightened up her load considerably after trying graded stakes company and the likes of Promise Me Silver, Lady Eli and Miss Temple City. Prior to those tries she captured the Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes at the Fairgrounds that capped off a three race winning streak to start 2015. She’s been able to win on the lead and off the pace which should give Jorge Carreno some options when the gates open.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Walking the Kitten comes in after a second place finish in a Churchill Downs allowance. She had herself a 7-week breather and responded with her best race since her maiden breaking debut.
Audrey’s Double and Catty N Sassy, both coming off allowance wins, would benefit greatly from some pace in the race as both look to sweep in late but none of the nine is a confirmed front runner. The lead could be inherited by default if no one decides to seize it leading to a slow pace and making it tough for the deep closers and easier for the favorites who like to be close to the pace.
The co-feature on the Father’s Day card is the $75,000, 6 ½ furlong Dark Star over the main track.
Mac Robertson sends Minnesota owned (Barry & Joni Butzow) Picko’s Pride into the Dark Star off of two graded stakes tries. He hit the board in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap while fading in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap. Picko’s Pride heads back to Canterbury for the first time in five years since starting his career there with a win and place in two career starts.
Rise Up, winner of the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot as a 2-year old, is coming into the race off a third in the Grade 3 Texas Mile where he set the pace before fading late. Look for him to be on the lead here as well, breaking from the inside, but he’s going to be joined by the two longshots next to him as well as Rockin Home from the six spot. Even Picko’s Pride shows early speed in his past performances making room for a closer to play spoiler in the Dark Star.
Ghost is Clear, owned and trained by Mike Maker could be that spoiler.
Defending Dark Star champion Ghost is Clear was a back to back stakes winner this year, taking the Forego at Turfway as well as the Houston Sprint Cup at Same Houston. He didn’t show much on April 24 in a $100,000 optional claiming race where he faded badly, but Maker gave the 7-year old gelding a month off and put three solid works into him prepping for the Dark Star. His two stakes wins were off the pace as was last year’s Dark Star and he should loom large here late.