SHAKOPEE, MN – While all the attention was focused on invaders Notte d’Oro, Awesome Flower and Kiss to Remember, locally based Stoupinator simply ran her race and professionally dispatched all challengers in the HBPA Distaff over the Canterbury Park turf course under leading jockey Dean Butler.
“She really did everything I wanted her to do,” said Butler.
Stoupinator, trained by Mac Robertson, sat off the early pace set by 30-1 shot Ros’s Girl and was content to let Kiss to Remember and Notte d’Oro take up the chase down the backside in the mile race. As the group turned for home, Butler angled to the outside and sent Stoupinator right on by to win by 3/4 of a length.
“I just sat and waited and when I asked her she went,” said Butler.
She covered the mile in 1:35.96 and returned $9.60 for the win. Notte d’Oro was second and favored Awesome Flower was third.
In the Brooks Fields, no one seemingly wanted to take command early so Geovanni Franco took AZ Ridge to the front and led the field through to the wire.
“He broke well and when I looked no one was going and the horse wanted to, so I let him go,” said Franco.
Trainer Dan McFarlane commented on his trainee reeling off four stakes victories in a row at age 6.
“He’s like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age,” said McFarlane.
After romping to a 7 length victory in the 1 7/8 mile Hasta La Vista Stakes, McFarlane brought AZ Ridge back to win at a mile.
“I worked him back a half [mile] to try and get him ready to go shorter,” explained McFarlane. “I thought he could run a good race but I didn’t expect this.”
AZ Ridge stopped the timer at 1:35.91 and paid $4.60 to win. Honor the Hero champion El Seventyseven was 2 1/2 lengths back in second while shipper Honor the Kitten was third.
MINNESOTA HBPA DISTAFF
Stoupinator 9.60 4.40 2.80
Notte D’Oro 6.20 3.40
Awesome Flower 2.80
BROOKS FIELDS STAKES
AZ Ridge 4.60 3.00 2.40
El Seventyseven 3.40 2.60
Honor the Kitten 2.40