SHAKOPEE, MN – The best 3-year Minnesota breds will take to the track this afternoon at Canterbury Park for the $85,000 Minnesota Oaks and Derby. Additionally, the $35,000 Cash Caravan Quarter Horse stakes will be the 2nd race on a card that will also feature the 2nd running of the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association Sale Graduate Futurity.
The mile and 70 yard Minnesota Derby features overwhelming favorite Hot Shot Kid. The 3/5 morning line choice out of the Mac Robertson barn has been very impressive in 2017. After breaking his maiden in an $80,000 maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park, he returned to Minnesota and reeled of three successive state bred win – 2 against older horses and easily handling a group of 3-year olds in the Vic Myers. The only member of the field to record a 70+ Beyer speed figure in a winning effort (he has three), he has handled a route of a ground in the past and looks formidable under Alex Canchari.
Grand Marais, coming off a rough trip in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington Park, will look to rebound in state bred 3-year old company while 2-year old champion, Fireman Oscar – a grass winner in his last – will look to contend as well.
Making your seasonal debut in the biggest state-bred 3-year old race of the season is a tall order, but that’s what 2-year old champion Shipmate will try to do in the mile and 70 Minnesota Oaks. The talented filly’s issues have been well chronicled and had additional colic issues in the off-season, delaying her return to the races until now.
Three for four in her inaugural season for owner/breeders Cheryl Sprick and Richard Bremer, her only loss came against open company – makes no less – while taking a shot in the Shakopee Juvenile. Her drill s for trainer Karl Broberg have been solid and well spaced, but this will be a difficult spot for her return.
Double Bee Sting, owned and bred by Curtis Sampson, finished a closing second behind Xerxes Avenue in the Frances Genter and was well clear of the rest of the field in that effort. Installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, Jareth Loveberry takes the reins from Orlando Mojica for trainer Tony Rengstorf.
The Cash Caravan, for Minnesota bred Quarter Horses, is led by Vodka at Moonlight. The 3-year old filly is coming off of an head victory in the Bob Morehouse stakes for trainer Jason Olmstead. Bryan Velazquez will pilot again as she’ll try and hold off fellow distaffer Blacks Cartel. Second in the Moorehouse, Blacks Cartel also logged a solid second in the Merial Distaff Challenge last out. Both losses were only by a head and the two should really go at it here.
The sixth race on the card is the second running of the $40,000 MTA Sales Futurity Stakes. In order to be eligible for the race, a horse must have passed through the sales ring and changed hands in the 2016 MTA yearling sale.
The nine horse race features a pair of first time starters as well as a pair of winners.
One of the first timers, Classy Shackles, was installed as the 5/2 morning line favorite. Bred by Wood-Mere Farm and owned by Pete Mattson, the Shackleford daughter is a full sister to graded stakes winner Malagacy and will head to the post under Jareth Loveberry for trainer David Van Winkle.
Blackberry Brandi, a visually impressive winner in her second lifetime start under Alex Canchari, will break from post two and likely show some early speed and may try and wire the field in the five furlong sprint.
Inside of her breaks Magic Cowboy, owned, bred and trained by Troy Bethke, is the other winner in the field after dispatching a field of state bred maidens after a rocky debut against open company.
Post time for the 10 race card is 12:45 and will also feature corgi races and a cupcake festival.