Two of a Kind?

Heliskier has been dominant in all four career starts, sparking conversation about how good he might be compared to other Minnesota-breds in recent history. The name that immediately is mentioned in comparison is Crocrock (pictured above).

While it would be premature to compare Heliskier at this point to the accomplishments of the great Crocrock, the path Heliskier has taken thus far is remarkably similar to that of Crocrock in 1999 and 2000. When comparing the measuring stick that many use in this sport, the Beyer Speed Figure, Heliskier is on a trajectory to be one of the best Minnesota-breds of all time.

First, Crocrock’s accomplishments: the son of North Prospect, bred and owned by Dale Schenian, won 16 of 42 starts and $359,977 in purses. Fourteen of his wins came at Canterbury Park where he is the all-time leading money earner at the Shakopee racetrack with $340,452 in earnings.

His stakes wins include the MTA Stallion Laddie, Victor Myers, MN Derby, the MN Sprint Championship four times and the 10,000 Lakes twice.

Crocrock began his career at two by winning the $27,000 MTA Stallion Laddie on Aug. 1, 1999 with a Beyer Speed Figure of 54. Heliskier was victorious in his 2-year-old debut, with a 55 Beyer on Aug. 13, 2011, in a state-bred maiden special weight.

Both made their next and final start of their 2-year-old seasons in the Northern Lights Futurity. Crocrock finished second with a 53 Beyer, Heliskier won by 10 lengths with a 71.

Crocrock, trained by Francisco Bravo, returned to the races May 21, 2000, winning a five and one-half furlong 3-year-0ld MN-bred N2L with a 55 Beyer fig. Heliskier faced older horses June 10 of this year in a six-furlong N3L and again won by double-digit lengths, earning a lofty 94 Beyer.

The logical race for a quality MN-bred 3-year-old in the spring is the Victor Myers Stakes at six furlongs, and the connections of both knew that was the race to win and both Crocrock and Heliskier delivered. Crocrock won by a nose with a 66 Beyer and Heliskier by four lengths with an 88.

What trainer Mac Robertson owner Marlene Colvin do next with Heliskier will all play out as the meet unfolds. Bravo sent Crocrock long after the Myers in a route rained off the turf. He finished second but went on the capture the Minnesota Derby at one mile and seventy yards, and finally the MN Sprint Championship at the end of the season.

Crocrock is a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame horse. He broke the 90 Beyer barrier four times in his career. He may be the last horse that, and Heliskier can garner the same attention if he continues to win, race fans made a special trip to the track to watch. Crocrock was must-see racing.

This blog was written by Canterbury Media Relations Manager Jeff Maday. Maday has filled multiple positions including Media Relations and Player Relations Manager since the track’s reopening in 1995.

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Comments

  1. John Ronan says:

    I am just really enjoying the facebook presence. I am just learning about this stuff. Didn’t know where to go until this morning. A good horse no doubt, but he hasn’t had to stretch for the finish line yet, like Crockrock would.

  2. Bob Gustafson says:

    Jeff, it’s very exciting when a Mn. bred comes along with the potential that Heliskier has shown, and to compare the horse with previous Mn, breds is inevitable. At this point, the comparison to Crocrock is very logical based on both horses first four races. However, at this stage in each horses career it is obvious using the Beyer speed figures that you mentioned that Heliskier is a much faster horse. Both horses maiden breaker had almost identical speed figures. In the next three races if we use Beyer’s rough equivalent that at these sprint distances 3 Beyer point equals 1 length then Heliskier would have beaten Crocrock by 6 lengths, 13 lengths, and 7 lengths and Heliskier’s 94 Beyer equals Crocrock’s best that he earned as a fully mature 5 yr. old. Crocrock is in the Canterbury Hall of Fame as you mentioned. He raced 32 of his 42 lifetime races at Canterbury. 10 of those races were against open company and he had 2 wins and 2 third place finishes in those races. Nothing wrong with that. He raced 10 times at other tracks notching 2 wins at Remington Park and finishing out of the money in the other 8 races. He tried open stakes company twice, once at Canterbury and once at Remington finishing out of the money in those races. Against fellow Mn. breds, he raced 22 times with 12 wins 6 places and 1 show. I believe close to $300,000 of his total earnings came in those restricted races. Now as a fan versus the owner and trainer of a horse, we may have very different objectives and goals we would like to see a horse achieve. The connections want to keep their horse healthy and in form for as long as they can and earn as much purse money as possible. As a fan, I wonder what Heliskier’s true potential might be. With Plana Dance as his dam, one would think that stretching out to two turns and trying the turf would be in his future. Plana Dance won a number of turf races at Canterbury and twice won at 1 1/8th miles on the dirt at Cby. What would really be great is if Heliskier has the talent to win open stakes races and eventually maybe a Graded Stakes race like Grade 3 winners Wally’s Choice ( Remington Park Derby where he recorded a 104 Beyer), Blairs Cove, a two time Grade 3 winner on the turf at Arlington Park (he beat Opening Verse in the 1991 Stars & Stripes, a horse who went on to win the Breeders Cup Mile later that year) and Super Abound who I believe is the only Mn. bred to win a Grade 1 race (the Secretariat stakes at Arlington in 1990 going 1 1/4 mile on the turf). So in some respects, no, I hope that they are not two of a kind and that Heliskier is something more. One can always dream.

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