Nominations to the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby closed today with 28 three-year-olds nominated to the richest race of Canterbury Park’s 68-day race meet. The one-mile turf race will be held on the final day of racing this season at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack, Sept. 13.
The Mystic Lake Derby, now in its third running, had been held earlier in the meet in prior years. “We made the decision to run our premier race in September in order to attract horses that had been racing on the coasts or in Chicago and would not have been available mid-summer,” Canterbury’s Vice President of Racing Operations Eric Halstrom said. “We accomplished that goal. The nomination list is strong. Now we just need to fill the starting gate.”
Canterbury’s second leading trainer, Robertino Diodoro, has nominated four horses including the only graded stakes winner on the list, Grade 3 Canadian Derby winner Edison, who also won an allowance race at Canterbury June 21. Diodoro’s other nominees are Bay of Biscay, Magic Cash, and Patriots Rule, second in a Del Mar stakes race in early August.
Owner Terry Hamilton of Lethbridge, Alberta has nominated Heart to Heart, winner of the Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 20. Hamilton is the only owner to have won the Mystic Lake Derby, capturing the title in 2012 with Hammers Terror and 2013 with Dorsett.
National Hall of Fame Trainer Bill Mott, a native of South Dakota and most notable for training Cigar in the mid-90s, has nominated two horses: Long On Value and Tourist, second in the Grade 1 Secretariat Aug. 16 at Arlington Park.
Speed Is Life is the lone Minnesota bred nominated to the race. The Doug Oliver trainee won the Victor Myers Stakes and the Minnesota Derby at Canterbury. Oliver bypassed the Minnesota Festival of Champions last weekend and is expected to enter Speed Is Life in the Mystic Lake Derby.
The $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes, run at six furlongs on the main track, will also be the same day and attracted 29 nominations.
Post time Sept. 13 is 12:15 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than the usual Saturday start time.