SHAKOPEE, MN – In another sign that Canterbury Park is hitting the radar of some of the biggest outfits in the country, Bill Mott, George Weaver, Brad Cox and Michael Maker are all shipping in candidates for a pair of $50,000 Memorial Day Stakes.
In the Northbound Pride Oaks going a mile over the turf for 3-year old fillies, both Weaver and Mott are sending in strong contenders.
Mott’s Bernadiva is the morning line favorite at 3-1 coming in off a lackluster performance in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes. Prior to that race she reeled off a pair of wins over the grass at Gulfstream (the maiden breaker) and Tampa in a $75,000 optional. She settles back into a more manageable stakes spot here and will face off against the Weaver shipper, Super Marina.
Super Marina was only beaten by two lengths two races back in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks. La Coronel, the second place finisher in that race, came back to win both the Grade 3 Appalachian and Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes. Super Marina came back in the Memories of Silver Stakes at Aqueduct where she finished 5th with nothing left in the tank late. She cuts back from the mile and sixteenth to a flat mile and is the pick here.
The Northbound Pride is not just a shipper’s affair, however, Canterbury Park Hall of Famer Mac Robertson dives in with Hotshot Anna coming in off layoff from Arkansas. She’s tried the turf twice in her career, hitting the board both times in a pair of Fairgrounds overnight stakes. This will be her first out since an April 12 2nd place finish over the dirt at Oaklawn. Robertson is 21% off the bench.
Cox’ shipper, Starr Bear, has been working regular at Churchill Downs after winning a Fairgrounds optional $50,000 in March. This will be her first try against stakes company.
The Illinois duo of trainer Scott Becker and owner William Stiritz are shipping up Miz Clipper north on I-94 after opening her career two-for-two in Chicago. This will be her first try over the lawn but has a win over the artificial surface at Arlington in a $75,000 optional claimer. Chris Emigh makes the trip to ride.
The Honor the Hero, a Memorial Day staple at Canterbury, is contested at five furlongs over the turf course.
Stiritz, Becker and Emigh are teaming up again in the Honor the Hero with Shogood. Shogood is a graded stakes winner having captured the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at 2. His most recent graded stakes try, the Grade 3 Woodford at Keeneland, he pushed the pace before fading late. Mongolian Saturday, the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion, was the winner followed by next out winner Hogy who captured the Colonel Power overnight at Fairgrounds.
Shadow Rock is the Mike Maker entrant and has been working consistently at Keeneland since a fifth place finish in an allowance there in April, closing late but falling short against multiple graded stakes winner Undrafted.
Robertino Diodoro, with a string at Canterbury again this summer, will send out Wildfire Kid, a recent $16,000 purchase out of southern California while Wade Rarick trainee, Saturdaynitelites, runner up in the Phoenix Gold Cup and Hank Mills Sr Handicaps at Turf Paradise, lead the local contingent.
Memorial Day racing begins at Canterbury park at 12:45 PM and will feature the traditional Memorial Day remembrance ceremony honoring the fallen from each branch of the service as well as veterans from America’s conflicts.