While the Mystic Lake Derby is the main course tonight at Canterbury Park, there are three supporting stakes on the card as well – a pair on the turf and a 2-year old dirt sprint.
$75,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff, One Mile, Turf
America Mon Amie, winner of the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury last year, returns to the Shakopee oval as the morning line favorite for the HBPA Distaff. In her one trip to Minnesota this year, the 4-year old filly finished third in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury. She was unable to catch her chief rival in this race, Calypso Run for second that day and will look to turn the tables here.
The well traveled filly is coming off a 4th place finish at Mountaineer in the $100,000 West Virginia Press Corp Stakes. She should be sitting just off the pace and will have to track down Calypso Run late.
Local owners Barry & Joni Butzow’s Calypso Run should be out on the lead early. The horse has been training great but has show a speed and fade late pattern in his last two that could be troublesome to her backers. If new jockey Dean Butler can settle the 4-year old filly early, though, she could be a lot of trouble for the favorite late as there doesn’t appear to be much speed in the race. Her only pressure could be from herself.
Prado’s Sweet Ride, winner of the Grade 3 Regret last spring at Churchill Downs, and Meshell, 3rd in the Grade 3 Bayakoa at Oaklawn earlier this year, both make their local debuts in the Distaff.
After her Regret victory, Prado’s Sweet Ride only missed by 1/2 length in the Grade 3 Pucker Up, finishing third behind the sensational Mizz Money. Since then, however, she’s had a rough time of it against lesser competition, coming back after a winter layoff to finish off the board in a pair of stakes at Gulfstream and Arlington and a 4th place finish last out an $80,000 optional claimer in Chicago.
Meshell has her own set of challenges in the Distaff, chief among them – this will be her first test on turf. The closest she has come to the turf is training over the Arlington Park synthetic strip and a 4 furlong move over the turf in Chicago with the dogs up. She breezed through the four panels in :51 flat but it is hard to say how much ground she had to cover having not watched the work to see the placement of the cones.
$75,000 Brooks Fields Stakes, One Mile, Turf
Bill Mott trainee Go Around looks to be the clear favorite for the Brooks Fields. The speedster has had a mixed bag in 2016, starting his season with back to back wins in Florida. He went gate to wire in his seasonal debut at Gulfstream in a $62,500 optional claimer and earning a 95 Beyer in the process. From there he headed to Tampa to win the Turf Classic for state breds before heading north.
In New York he caught a tough field in the Grade 1 Man o’ War, won by Wake Forest, and then was unable to hold on at a mile and 3/16 at Arlington in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. Go Around set the pace in both races. Here he will cut back to a mile and step out of graded stakes company to try and get back in the winners’ circle.
Another speedster waits for him far on his inside out of the Mac Robertson barn. Majestic Pride has reeled off a pair of impressive victories since finishing 4th in the Mystic Lake Mile. Go Around is going to have to clear six horses on his inside in the short run to the first turn in order to get to the front and this fella could be standing in his way and pushing him along.
Last year’s Mystic Lake Derby winner, Nun the Less, makes the trip to Shakopee again but this time for the Brooks Fields. He drew the outside but that shouldn’t affect his late running style. Should the pair of front runners lock up, he could have things his own way late and enable him to capture a win for the first time since that Derby win here last summer.
An intriguing runner is the first off the claim Peyton for trainer Robertino Diodoro. It’s hard to imagine that he didn’t have this race in mind when he plucked Peyton from a $40,000 claiming race at Woodbine last month. His figures do fit the race, albeit a bit under what Go Around has been running – like the rest of the field, and Diodoro fits him with blinkers for the first time. He’ll be a bit of a wildcard late.
$40,000 Careless Navigator, 5 1/2 Furlongs, Dirt (2-Year Olds)
The Careless Navigator features a filed of seven 2-year olds, all but one of which have navigated their maiden win. As expected, all are lightly raced and could make for an interesting race.
The 5/2 morning line favorite is Line Judge, owned by Barry & Joni Butzow and trained by Joe Sharp. Line Judge narrowly missed in his debut and came back from that effort to win easily next out earning a field best 65 Beyer Speed figure. He should be prominent early and may be difficult to catch.
Warrior’s Kid is the only stakes placed runner in the field having followed up his maiden breaking win at Canterbury with a fast closing second-by-a-neck finish in the Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows.
Bella’s Back is another out of the Prairie Gold that bears watching. She had a very professional maiden breaking effort at Canterbury where she earned a 61 Beyer. She stumbled at the start and had a rough go of it in the Prairie Gold, never really being involved. A clean break and this is one young filly that will be able to compete with the boys.
Ducat also comes out of the Prairie Gold while Even Thunder and Irish Beauty look to build off their maiden breaking efforts. Dan McFarlane’s third entry in the race, He’s Munnie, will be looking to break his maiden in the Careless Navigator.